Schiff Rejects GOP Whistleblower Testimony Demand, Due To “The President’s Threats”
In the least-surprising news item of the day, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff has rejected GOP calls for the so-called whistleblower to testify in the sham impeachment hearings.
Schiff explains in a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes that the whistleblower’s testimony is “redundant and unnecessary,” claiming that the impeachment inquiry has gathered evidence that “not only confirms, but far exceeds” information in the original complaint.
Schiff also made it clear that the impeachment inquiry will not be used to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, or allegations of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Schiff’s stunningly hypocritical response to Nunes is below:
Dear Ranking Member Nunes:
The Committee is in receipt of your letter, dated today, proposing witnesses for the impeachment inquiry’s open hearings. The Committee is carefully evaluating the witness list you provided, along with the written justifications you included.
Consistent with H. Res. 660 and as noted in my November 6, 2019 letter, the Committee will give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.
In doing so, the Committee is mindful that this inquiry is a solemn undertaking, enshrined by the Founders in the Constitution, to determine whether the President of the United States warrants impeachment by the House of Representatives.
As we move to open hearings, it is important to underscore that the impeachment inquiry, and the Committee, will not serve as vehicles for any Member to carry out the same sham investigations into the Bidens or debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit.
The Committee also will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm. It remains the duty of the Intelligence Committee to protect whistleblowers, and until recently, this was a bipartisan priority. The whistleblower has a right under laws championed by this Committee to remain anonymous and to be protected from harm.
The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence – from witnesses and documents, including the President’s own words in his July 25 call record – that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblower’s complaint.
The whistleblower’s testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary.
In light of the President’s threats, the individual’s appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk.
As a reminder, Schiff initially said the whistleblower would testify to Congress but backed away after the contact between the person and his team was revealed.
Additionally, this latest decision comes after Nunes complained that Democrats had yet to treat President Trump with “fairness” in the impeachment process, directing witnesses not to answer questions from GOP committee members and withholding transcripts.
In addition to the whistleblower, Republicans also requested the following witnesses:
Hunter Biden: The son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and a former board member for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that has been plagued for years by corruption concerns. President Donald Trump asked Ukraine’s president in a July 25 phone call to consider investigating whether Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government in 2016 to shut down an investigation of Burisma.
Devon Archer: One of Hunter Biden’s business partners and a former Burisma board member.
Alexandra Chalupa: A former DNC consultant who met with Ukrainian embassy officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Chalupa, who is Ukrainian-American, dug up dirt on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
David Hale: The undersecretary of state for political affairs. Hale testified in a closed-door deposition Wednesday.
Tim Morrison: The former senior director for European and Eurasian affairs on the National Security Council. Morrison is one of only two individuals, including National Security Council’s Ukraine director, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, to have listened to the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Morrison testified that he did not hear anything illegal on the call, while Zelensky, who will be called to testify by Democrats, said that he had serious concerns with what Trump said in the call.
Nellie Ohr: The wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, and a former contractor for Fusion GPS. Ohr told Congress in an Oct. 19, 2018, interview that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and investigative journalist, was a source of information for Fusion GPS, which peddled the infamous Steele dossier. Leshchenko, who has acknowledged having contact with Chalupa, helped publish information in August 2016 that led to Manafort’s firing as Trump campaign chairman.
Kurt Volker: The former special envoy to Ukraine. Volker was a liaison between Rudy Giuliani and the Zelensky administration. He testified Oct. 3 that he did not witness a Trump quid pro quo to Ukraine.
What are the odds that any of these people will be allowed by Schiff?