November 18, 2019
Politics

Schiff Dismisses Republican Calls for Trump Whistleblower to Testify: Redundant and Unnecessary

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the whistleblowers testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump is both “redundant and unnecessary” as the inquiry, according to Schiff, has gathered enough evidence.

Schiff wrote in a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Intelligence committee, that testimony from the whistleblower isnt relevant now.

“The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence—from witnesses and documents, including the Presidents own words in his July 25 call record—that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblowers complaint,” Schiff wrote. “The whistleblowers testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary.”

Schiff then added that “the individuals appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk” after calls to unmask the anonymous person.

The impeachment investigation has centered around allegations that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. Democrats have claimed that quid pro quo was involved, which Trump has frequently denied.

According to a the transcript of the call, which Trump had declassified, Trump makes a request to Zelensky to “look into” the Bidens activities surrounding Burisma. Zelensky has denied there was any pressure on him to open any investigation.

Biden in 2016 forced the firing of top Ukrainian prosecutor Victor Shokin, who had been investigating Burisma, by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees; Biden bragged about the move during a videotaped speech on a panel last year. Trump cited that video in his request to Zelensky.

Nunes, in a letter of his own, asked that Schiff should testify in the House impeachment inquiry.

“On November 6th, you announced the beginning of public hearings associated with the Democratic Partys partisan impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump,” Nunes wrote, reported Fox News. “Based on the precedent and lack of jurisdiction, the House Intelligence Committee should not take the lead in conducting such hearings; however, by now the American people know your desire to see the duly-elected president removed from office outweighs your sense of responsibility to running a functioning intelligence oversight committee.”

He added: “Prior to the start of your public show trial next week, at least one additional closed-door deposition must take place. Specifically, I request that you sit for a closed-door deposition before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees.”

Then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) speak to the media about committees investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 15, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Nunes also said that Schiff and his staff “met with or talked to the whistleblower who raised an issue with President Trumps phone call with Ukrainian President [Volodymyr] Zelensky.”

“Although you publicly claim nothing inappropriate was discussed, the three committees deserve to hear directly from you the substance and circumstances surrounding any discussions conducted with the whistleblower, and any instructions you issued regarding those discussions,” Nunes also wrote. “Given that you have reneged on your public commitment to let the committees interview the whistleblower directly, you are the only individual who can provide clarity as to these conversations.”

Schiff, meanwhile, said in the letter that his “committee also will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistlRead More – Source

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