February 5, 2019

The Honorable Adam Schiff HVC-304, The U.S. Capitol Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Schiff:

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to ensure that the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) business meeting, scheduled
for Wednesday, February 6, is open to the public and press as required by the
rules of the House of Representatives. Currently, the committee announcement
declares the meeting is “closed.”1

House Rule XI (2)(g)(2), concerning open meetings, requires that business
meetings held by standing committees be open to the press and public except
when the committee holds a record vote in open session to close it.2 House Rule X, clause
11(d)(1), applies this provision to HPSCI. Committee proceedings may only be
closed for a limited number of reasons stated in the rules.

HPSCI has not yet had an opportunity to meet in the 116th Congress and
accordingly has not held a public, roll call vote to close its proceedings. In
addition, the meeting location, HVC-304, is a Sensitive Compartmented
Information Facility. Accordingly, even were the meeting deemed “open,” the
some press would be unable to attend. House rules require access for “radio,
television, and still photography coverage.”

understand that it likely is inconvenient for the committee to hold its
business meeting in a room open to the public and then to move to a secure room
should the committee vote to close the proceedings. However, the principle of
defaulting to an open and accountable government and the requirement that
moving to closed proceedings occur only after a public vote, enshrined in the
House rules, controls in these circumstances.

We appreciate your thoughtful
attention to this matter.


Campaign for Liberty

Constitutional Alliance

Demand Progress

Education Fund

Defending Rights & Dissent


Government Information Watch


National Security Counselors

Project On Government Oversight

R Street Institute

Restore The Fourth

Revolving Door Project


cc:       The Honorable Devin Nunes

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