House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff has been accused by House Republicans of coaching an anti-Trump witness and preventing Republicans from questioning the witness about some of the discrepancies in his testimony.
“Chairman Schiff has prevented the witness from answering certain questions we have during the deposition. You know, one of the things you do in these depositions is you ask the basics — what, when, where, why — you ask those questions,” House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan said after the hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Listen to his whole statement below:
(Source: Fox News)
Earlier that morning, Trump administration official Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman of the National Security Council testified before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees about President Donald Trump’s phone call in July with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman is reportedly the original whistleblower.
After the hearing, Democrats and their media allies began claiming that the “bombshell” witness’s testimony was “devastating” to the president. But according to congressional Republicans, all the hype over his testimony is just that — hype.
Colonel Vindman’s testimony is even more devastating to Donald Trump than we thought https://t.co/wWZ1fx1n0b
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) October 29, 2019
Vindman plans to tell House impeachment investigators today that he believed President Trump undermined U.S. national security when he appealed to Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rivals https://t.co/0zGbJ8Nq23
— POLITICO (@politico) October 29, 2019
— Doug Kellett (@iDougradio) October 30, 2019
‘Extremely disturbing’: Top Democrats alarmed over Vindman’s testimony on Trump-Ukraine call https://t.co/JxGOCoiZz4
— KGNS News (@KGNSnews) October 30, 2019
Analysis | Why Alexander Vindman’s testimony is big https://t.co/NsQBVjgAH4 “After Bill Taylor testified last week to multiple corrupt quid pro quos between the Trump team and Ukraine, President Trump attacked him as a ‘Never Trumper.’ He did so despite the fact that Taylor, th…
— Kats Ikeda (@katslefty) October 30, 2019
The real story, they say, isn’t his allegedly “devastating” testimony about Trump but rather Schiff’s repeated efforts to coach him while simultaneously blocking Republicans from questioning him.
“When we asked the whistleblower who he spoke to after important events in July, Adam Schiff says no, no, no we’re not going to let him answer that question,” Jordan continued after the hearing.
He added that Schiff essentially behaved like Vindman’s lawyer by controlling what he could and couldn’t say.
“The witness has their counsel there — their lawyer there,” he said. “They don’t need Adam Schiff being chairman and lawyer. But that’s in effect what happened today.”
Speaking later that evening with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes confirmed everything Jordan had claimed.
“I have never in my life seen anything like what happened today,” he said. “I mean, they’ve been bad at most of these depositions, but to interrupt us continually, to coach the witness, to decide whether or not what we’re going to be able to ask a witness.”
“[T]o not let us ask questions? I have never, ever had that. And to see someone coach a witness? This isn’t the first time. Schiff’s very good at coaching witnesses. Remember, he also met with the whistle-blower. This is just unprecedented.”
Before the first public whistleblower “blew the whistle,” per se, back in August, he reportedly sought “guidance” from Schiff’s office.
When questioned about this “guidance” last month, Schiff denied that members of his office had “spoken directly” with the whistleblower. This lie wound up earning him a four “Pinocchios” fact-check by The Washington Post.
“Schiff … clearly made a statement that was false,” the Post concluded at the start of October. “He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record.”
“He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the IG’s office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication. The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity. Schiff earns Four Pinocchios.”
How many of these four Pinocchio’s Adam Schiff has stacked up by now? pic.twitter.com/eTAxRd3Kk6
— Jackie Sherry (@jackiefun68) October 28, 2019
It seems Schiff doesn’t like to play fair or tell the truth.
“Our witness today is under subpoena,” Jordan noted later in his statement Tuesday afternoon. “He’s supposed to answer the questions from members of the United States Congress — not just from members of the majority of the United States Congress.”
“When it’s a subpoena from congress we all get to ask questions and Adam Schiff doesn’t get to say ‘you can answer our questions, witness, but you can’t answer the Republicans’ questions.'”
Speaking alongside him, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise added that, given all the Schiff-related problems with the ongoing impeachment inquiry — from Schiff meeting with the first public whistleblower and lying about it to him now acting like the original whistleblower lawyer — it’s time to end this “tainted process.”
“It’s clear Pelosi needs to declare a mistrial,” he said. “This has been a tainted process from the start. What happened today confirms even worse just how poorly Adam Schiff is handling this process in denying the ability for Republicans to even ask basic questions that are critical to the heart of whether or not a president of the United States is impeached.”
“This is, by the way, something that Hamilton himself warned against when he was writing in ‘The Federalist Papers,’ expressing concerns about how Congress would handle impeachment. This is exactly what he talked about. This stinks to high heaven. This shouldn’t be allowed, not in the United States of America.”
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