Adam Schiff rejects Republican demands for whistleblower to testify publicly in impeachment hearings
Republicans want the whistleblower who sounded the alarm about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine to testify in public hearings, but the top Democrat leading the impeachment inquiry says it won’t happen.
House Rep. Adam Schiff informed Republican colleague Devin Nunes on Saturday that the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint sparked the investigation will not appear for public hearings because their testimony is ‘redundant and unnecessary.’
The letter written by Schiff is a change in tone from earlier on Saturday, when the Democrat said that the committee he heads would ‘give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry, as voted on by the House.’
‘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,’ Schiff wrote to Nunes, who is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, informed ranking member Devin Nunes, a Republican, that the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry against President Trump will not be testifying in public
‘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.’
After the whistleblower’s initial complaint from September, it was a foregone conclusion that his testimony would be needed to proceed if the House intended to draft articles of impeachment.
But several witnesses who have since come forward to testify under oath before Congress have corroborated the whistleblower’s claims.
Nunes wrote to Schiff this week with a list of witnesses they want to see testifying so the President ‘can be afforded the opportunity to confront his accusers.’
At the top of the list, obtained by Fox News, is Hunter Biden, who has emerged as pivotal figure in the investigation as Trump demanded the Ukrainian government to investigate him over his business dealings in the country.
Burisma Holdings is the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter held a lucrative board seat while his father was vice president.
House Republicans want Joe Biden’s son Hunter (above) to give evidence to testify at the Democrat’s impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump
In his letter, Nunes wrote: ‘Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats’ efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week.
‘To provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process, and after consultation with [House Oversight Committee] Ranking Member Jim Jordan and [House Foreign Affairs Committee] Ranking Member Michael McCaul, the American people deserve to hear from the following witnesses in an open setting,’ he claimed.
Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden.
A whistleblower’s complaint about that call triggered the probe, which also focuses on allegations that Trump was holding up military aid to Ukraine.
Republicans had stated in testimony that former State Department official George Kent raised concerns about ‘the appearance of a conflict of interest stemming from Mr. Biden’s position on Burisma’s board.’
He added that Marie Yovanovich, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, was prepared by the Obama State Department to address questions about Biden’s position on Burisma during her Senate confirmation process.
It has also emerged that the whistleblower, whose identity remains anonymous, has been asked testify publicly as part of the inquiry.
Donald Trump’s eldest son published the name of the alleged anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint fired the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Amid calls by the president himself to expose the whistle-blower, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the name of a CIA analyst that has circulated online for weeks, and linked to a Breitbart news article implying the person was pro-Democrat and anti-Trump.
Burisma Holdings is the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden held a lucrative board seat while his father was vice president. He was reportedly paid $50,000 per month
When he was Vice-Presiednt, Joe Biden urged the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor, which Trump and his allies have charged was done to benefit Burisma. The Bidens have denied this and there has been no evidence of wrong-doing on their part
The person named by that outlet is currently a registered Democrat but has previously registered as Republican; they have also been a CIA analyst.
In his letter, Nunes also wrote: ‘Because President Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers, the anonymous whistleblower should testify.’
‘Moreover, given the multiple discrepancies between the whistleblower’s complaint and the closed-door testimony of the witnesses, it is imperative that the American people hear definitively how the whistleblower developed his or her information, and who else the whistleblower may have fed the information he or she gathered and how that treatment of classified information may have led to the false narrative being perpetrated by the Democrats during this process.’
Fox reported that Republicans also want to call Alexandra Chalupa as a witness.
She was a Ukrainian-American consultant for the Democratic National Committee, who allegedly held meetings with staff at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The claimed she is a ‘prime witness’ given Trump’s documented belief that the Ukrainian government meddled in the 2016 election to oppose his candidacy.
House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes wrote to Committee Chairman Adam Schiff this week with a list of witnesses they want to see testifying so Donald Trump ‘can be afforded the opportunity to confront his accusers’
Republicans want Nellie Ohr, (left), to testify at the impeachment inquiry as she worked at research firm Fusion GPS which commissioned a dossier on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Her husband is Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, (right)
Nunes said this forms the basis for a reasonable desire for Ukraine to investigate the circumstances surrounding the election and any potential Ukrainian involvement.
Also included on the list are Nellie Ohr, a researcher at opposition research firm Fusion GPS, who allegedly told Congress that her firm obtained information from Ukraine.
The firm was paid by Democrats to compile dossier on Trump’s Russia ties which was turned over to the FBI before the presidential election and formed the basis of the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Last month, Hunter Biden said he exercised poor judgement in his business deals with Ukraine and China.
But he emphasized he did nothing wrong in the scandals that have engulfed his father’s presidential bid and made the family a political target for President Trump.
‘In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part. Is that I think that it was poor judgment because I don’t believe now, when I look back on it – I know that there was – did nothing wrong at all,’ he told ABC News in an interview that aired Tuesday morning on Good Morning America.
‘However, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is…a swamp in- in – in many ways? Yeah.’
Fox reported that Republicans also want to call Alexandra Chalupa as a witness. Chalupa was a Ukrainian-American consultant for the Democratic National Committee
‘I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake,’ he noted.
‘So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever.’
‘Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah,’ he said, in reference to fallout from his overseas business. ‘But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.’
Hunter Biden told ABC News he never spoke with his father about his business dealings with Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian company he worked with while his father was vice president.
During that time Joe Biden urged the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor, which Trump and his allies have charged was done to benefit Burisma. The Bidens have denied this and there has been no evidence of wrong-doing on their part.
‘There is no but to this, no, we never did,’ Hunter Biden, claiming he didn’t discuss his business dealings with his father.
Asked why, Hunter replied: ‘Because my dad was the vice president of the United States. There’s nothing as a young man or full grown adult that my father in some way hasn’t had influence over as it does not serve either one of us.’
He said he did not regret his work with Burisma. Biden stepped down from the company’s board in April.
Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Biden
First to speak in a hearing involving three Democratic-run committees will be Bill Taylor, (pictured), the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who raised alarms in internal messages about holding up U.S. military aid
Biden, who had no previous experience in the energy industry, defended being appointed to the board of a gas company, where reports had him being paid $50,000 a month.
Schiff announced that the public phase of Democratic-run impeachment hearings is about to begin, with three key witnesses scheduled to appear next week.
First to speak in a hearing involving three Democratic-run committees will be Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who raised alarms in internal messages about holding up U.S. military aid.
Taylor testified last month that he was told that U.S. security military aid to the country was contingent on Kiev putting out a statement they were investigating the Bidens and the 2016 election.
His testimony was buttressed on Tuesday by ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who testifies he personally told a top Ukrainian official the aid was likely contingent on a public statement about investigating corruption.
Among those testifying before the cameras will be Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was pushed out of her post after a campaign to undermine her by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Yovanovitch testified in private that she was never told why she was removed from her post.
The first witness to speak to the nation will be Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine who wrote in a text message he thought it was ‘crazy’ to link U.S. military support to that country with a push for investigations related to a political campaign.