Nunes demands Schiff testify in private as part of House impeachment inquiry

12 Novembre, 2019, 13:47 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Support for President Trump impeachment slipped 4 percentage points since mid-October according to a poll released Wednesday

"It's an important checks and balance not only in the Intelligence Committee, but in our government", Rep. Hurd said. So far, they say, they have not received one. Having this whistleblower law on the books is important.

Nunes' office did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

While continuing to attack the inquiry process as tainted, Republicans signaled with Saturday's proposed witness list that they meant to try to turn the spotlight away from accusations that the president abused his power for political ends and instead would seek to discredit US intelligence findings, reaffirmed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, that Russian Federation interfered with the 2016 election with the aim of aiding Trump. Nunes said the president should have the opportunity to confront his accuser. Democrat Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has answered that there's no point, because evidence and testimony have more than confirmed the information in the whistleblower's complaint. He wrote in a letter to Nunes on Saturday that since much of the whistleblower's complaint has been substantiated by other evidence and witness testimony, the individual's account is no longer central to the investigation. The whistle-blower's testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary. Without confirmation, Joe Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where Hunter served on the board, bringing in a reported $50,000 per month. Over the weekend, Schiff rejected a Republican request for witnesses that included Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, former Fusion-GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, former DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa, and the alleged whistleblower. "So, if they don't call the whistleblower in the House, this thing is dead on arrival in the Senate".

Even some Republicans agree that the whistleblower's identity should remain shielded.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday that he believes the whistleblower's name should be protected.

"Well, because what's going to happen, when you find out who the whistleblower is, I'm confident you're going to find out it's somebody from the deep state", Graham said.

If the House inquiry were to result in Trump being impeached, the matter would then go to a trial before the Senate, which Graham said would be doomed if the whistleblower did not come forward.

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If a request for a probe of a rival could be proved, that would be "over the line", Kennedy said.

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of California, another member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CBS the panel won't "chase witnesses to the courts" that the White House is blocking, such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Hurd, who is not running for reelection, is unusual in risking Trump's ire by publicly supporting protections for the whistleblower. "Presidents have withheld aid before because of corruption".

'Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn't exist, ' Trump complained.

William Taylor, who took charge of USA embassy in Ukraine after the former ambassador was ousted in May, told House committees that he initially thought a July 25 phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president "sounded like a good idea" as Ukraine sought to strengthen its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

On Friday Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, is scheduled to testify.

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