President Donald Trump bookended an official Republican request for certain witnesses to be included in the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, by suggesting that Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), submit to questions under oath.
As the Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow reported Saturday, Republicans submitted a request to Schiff and his Intelligence Committee colleagues late last week, requesting that both former vice president Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and the alleged whistleblower, who gave rise to the inquiry itself, be included in a list of witnesses for cross-examination by Republican legislators.
The GOP also requested to interview Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, and Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American political consultant who has helped the Democratic National Committee in the past, and could offer insight into whether Democrats have requested potentially damaging information from Ukrainian officials.
The Republican request also sought Schiff as a witness, the Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reported Saturday, on the theory that Schiff had contact with the White House whistleblower before the whistleblower’s complaint was made public, and, likely, to inquire as to why Schiff saw fit to include a fabricated transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian officials in his opening statments ahead of the impeachment inquiry itself (Schiff claims his version of events was “satire,” a concept not often embraced in official Congressional remarks).
The request comes per instructions outlined in a “resolution” officially initiating the impeachment inquiry, passed last week in the House. According to that resolution, all Republican witness requests must be approved by the leader of the House Intelligence Committee — in this case, Schiff.
Sunday morning, Schiff indicated that he plans to deny Republicans’ requests.
“The committee … will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm,” Schiff said in a written response to GOP legislators. “The whistleblower has a right under laws championed by this committee to remain anonymous and to be protected from harm.”
Trump, of course, has his own dream witness roster, and it goes above and beyond the official list.
“I recommend that Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff’s lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the Whistleblower (who miraculously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd Whistleblower (who also disappeared), & the I.G., be part of the list!” the President tweeted late Saturday.
I recommend that Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff’s lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the Whistleblower (who miraculously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd Whistleblower (who also disappeared), & the I.G., be part of the list!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2019
Trump has also regularly requested that the whistleblower be included in the inquiry’s list of witnesses, and has occasionally suggested that the whistleblower’s name and testimony be made public, so that he and his defenders can confront his accuser.
That’s not likely to happen. In a strange coincidence, the House passed an update to the whistleblower provisions just weeks before the Ukraine whistleblower came forward, extending protections beyond those with first-hand knowledge of a potential criminal act, to those with possible second- or third-hand knowledge.
The whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry allegedly has second-hand knowledge of Trump’s offer of a quid-pro-quo to Ukrainian officials: millions of dollars in foreign aid in return for an announcement indicating that Ukrainian prosecutors were looking into Hunter Biden’s business dealings in-country.