by Chuck Ross
The top Republicans on three congressional committees leading an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump called out Rep. Adam Schiff Wednesday for reversing course on calling a CIA whistleblower to testify before Congress, according to a letter the Daily Caller News Foundation obtained.
The Republicans also asked Schiff to arrange public testimony from the whistleblower and any other individuals he relied on as part of an Aug. 12 complaint filed with the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) regarding Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.
“We are surprised by your announcement that the Committees will not receive testimony from the anonymous intelligence community employee whose complaint initiated the so-called impeachment inquiry,” wrote Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Devin Nunes of California and Michael McCaul of Texas in the letter to Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
They noted that before the House Intelligence Committee released the whistleblower complaint on Sept. 26, Schiff had committed to “very soon” calling the whistleblower to provide “unfiltered” testimony.
The Republicans said that Schiff, a California Democrat, reversed course “following revelations that the employee had a bias against President Donald Trump and that you had received a secret, early account of the allegations.”
Schiff’s aide directed the CIA analyst to file the complaint with the ICIG and also briefed Schiff on the encounter.
Schiff indicated prior to the release of the complaint that he was unaware of the subject matter. He also failed to disclose that someone in his office had met the whistleblower.
Schiff said on Oct. 13 that the whistleblower no longer needs to testify because witnesses and a transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president validated the complaint.
That series of events and Schiff’s secrecy have led Trump and other Republicans to allege that the complaint is part of a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
“As the so-called impeachment inquiry gathers information that contradicts the employee’s allegations, we ask that you arrange for the Committees to receive public testimony from the employee and all individuals he or she relied upon in formulating the complaint,” the Republicans said in their letter to Schiff.
The complaint centers on Trump’s actions towards Ukraine and focuses on a July 25 phone call that Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Schiff and the chairmen of other Democratic committees leading the impeachment inquiry have called a series of witnesses, mostly from the State Department, to testify behind closed doors about the administration’s Ukraine-related activities.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Adam Schiff” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.