Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) made a formal request that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) testify in a closed-door session as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
“Prior to the start of your public show trial next week, at least one additional closed-door deposition must take place,” reads a Friday letter from Nunes to Schiff.
“As the American public is now aware, in August 2019 you and/or your staff met with or talked to the whistleblower who raised an issue with President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President 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.”
“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,” the letter reads.
Schiff lied about his office’s contacts with the whistleblower – initially claiming “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower,” when in fact the whistleblower, now known as CIA officer Eric Ciaramella, reached out to a committee aide who directed him to Democratic attorney Mark Zaid (who proudly obtained government security clearances for pedophiles and enjoys walking around children’s theme parks alone).
That said, Schiff maintains he hasn’t personally spoken with Ciaramella, and that his committee was only given vague information as to the nature of the complaint.
Republicans, meanwhile, are gearing up for the public hearings by assembling a list of proposed witnesses – although Democrats have the final say over who can appear.
Nunes’ and Republicans’ effort to devise a strategy going forward comes after the House approved rules for the impeachment inquiry process last week. While Republicans opposed the resolution and complained the rules were unfair, Democrats still gave GOP lawmakers the ability to subpoena witnesses with the concurrence of Democratic committee chairs. If the chair does not consent, the minority can appeal to the full committee.
This process still gives Democrats final say over witnesses. A GOP source told Fox News this week that it’s unlikely Democrats would go along with the efforts to call Schiff — who is essentially leading the impeachment probe. –Fox News
On Saturday, Nunes wrote another letter to Schiff with a list of witnesses the GOP would like to call, including Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Ciaramella.
“Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats’ efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week,” wrote Nunes. “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.”
While requesting testimony from the whistleblower, Nunes wrote that “Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers,” particularly over what he claims are “discrepancies” between the whistleblower’s complaint and witnesses’ closed-door testimony.
“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,” Nunes wrote.
In addition to the anonymous whistleblower, whose complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans also plan to call Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devon Archer.
Hunter Biden worked on the board of a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch while his father served as vice president. Joe Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been accused of overlooking corruption in his own office, threatening to withhold money if the prosecutor was not fired. –The Hill
Last Sunday on CBS‘ “Face the Nation,” House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that Schiff is the “fist person” who should be brought in, along with his staff.
“Come to the Judiciary Committee” said Collins, following the passage of Democrats’ impeachment guidelines. “Be the first witness and take every question asked of you. Starting with your own involvement [with] the whistleblower.”