Cops remove special session

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Amid screams of “How dare you?” “Nuremberg!” and “We were following orders!” police removed several people who disrupted the House Judiciary hearing this afternoon after they repeatedly defied requests to move from the press seats in the Lincoln Auditorium. The people involved were not credentialed members of the press, but were with one of the right-wing protest groups that have been closely watching the session. At least one was arrested; Idaho State Police officers said he will be cited for trespassing and released.

Rep. Greg Chaney, committee chairman, said, “The entire room blew up. At least two people were forcibly removed.”

The committee hearing is now moving and access to it will be controlled.

Several people with homemade "PRESS" tags protested and claimed to be members of the press; they were being advised afterward in the hallway by Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman, but Hoffman said he didn't employ them or know who they were with. "I just came down here because I'm familiar with the rules," he said. Dustin Hurst, IFF spokesman, said later in an email that Hoffman was trying to get the people to move from the press seats. "IFF is not connected in any way, shape, or form to these shenanigans and I want that to be completely and totally clear," Hurst said.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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