Department.The panel voted unanimously Tuesday to close the Wednesday hearing. There was no discussion.
House Speaker Todd Richardson formed the panel in response to the fellow
Republican governor's recent grand jury indictment on a felony
invasion-of-privacy charge stemming from a 2015 extramarital affair.
The chairman of the committee, Republican Rep. Jay Barnes, during the panel's first meeting Wednesday said the goal is to uncover the facts. He said keeping all the proceedings open would undermine that, and he said they have a responsibility to protect the identities of witnesses.
Barnes also asked a crowd of reporters at the hearing to respect the privacy of witnesses. He said the panel will issue a public report and records after it's finished, but told reporters that efforts to speak with members before then will be a waste of time.
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