House Republicans Hit Back at Schiff After White House Blocks Ambassadors Testimony
House Republicans said House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiffs (D-Calif.) refusal to release a full transcript of one ambassadors testimony prompted the White House to block another ambassador from testifying on Tuesday.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) accused Schiff of withholding the transcript of former Ambassador Kurt Volkers testimony because it supports President Donald Trumps characterization of the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Jordan and three GOP colleagues held a press conference after the Trump administration blocked Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from testifying on Tuesday.
Volker testified last week in the impeachment inquiry into Trump but his full testimony has not been released, though a copy of his prepared remarks was leaked.
Jordan said GOP members of the committee “fully understand why the administration” declined to have Sondland testify, linking the decision to what went down with Volker.
“When youre gonna have a chairman release certain parts of what was said in a closed-door interview and not release the entire transcript and give it context, you could see why they didnt want to subject Ambassador Sondland to the same kind of treatment,” Jordan told reporters in Washington.
“This has to be a fair process. And when you have a press release being drafted by our Democrat colleagues cherry-picking text messages when the full text of Ambassador Volkers testimony last week would have exonerated this President, lets release it,” added Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
Though Democrats have asserted a “quid pro quo” between Zelensky probing former Vice President Joe Bidens role in the 2016 ousting a top prosecutor who was probing a company that paid Bidens son until earlier this year, the transcript of the call showed that Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” Biden but promised nothing in return.
A complaint filed against Trump based on the call was filed by a person who has not been identified publicly. That person lacked firsthand knowledge of the call and their account conflicts with the official transcript.