Schiff claims closed-door impeachment inquiry transcripts will be released ‘early as next week’

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff revealed that transcripts from closed-door interviews conducted during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump may soon be released.

The California Democrat dismissed arguments by Republicans that the closed-door depositions are not allowing the minority party enough time for asking questions, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time” Thursday that the transcripts from the hearings will prove otherwise.

(Video: YouTube/CNN)

 

“So when the Republicans say, ‘listen, Schiff has too much control here. He’s not letting us get our questions answered. He’s silencing witnesses. We don’t have subpoena power that he does, we can’t bring in witnesses, we’re not getting the same time.’ What is your response?” Cuomo asked.

“Those arguments you’ve heard are almost completely false, with only one exception,” Schiff replied.

“And when you see the transcripts, and we expect to begin releasing them as early as next week, you’ll see that the Republicans have every bit as much time to ask questions,” he revealed.

Thus far, information about the testimony from witnesses has come from their own released opening statements and what Republicans have criticized as strategic leaks from Schiff’s Democrats.

The CNN interview came on the heels of Thursday’s divided House vote to formalize procedures for the impeachment inquiry which was sparked by a whistleblower complaint filed about Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Despite Schiff’s earlier insistence that the whistleblower would be testifying before Congress directly, a new report indicated that talks between the whistleblower’s legal team and Schiff’s staff have ceased, and the second whistleblower who backed the claims by the first will also not be testifying.

Republicans have slammed the proceedings under Schiff’s leadership, arguing that the president is not being allowed due process. Rep. John Joyce reiterated the complaints about the “clandestine” hearings and noted that he has “requested” to read the transcripts from hearings but has been denied.

“Schiff is functioning as witness, as prosecutor, and judge and jury,” the Pennsylvania Republican told Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria” on Friday.

(Video: YouTube/Fox Business)

Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne also lodged his complaint that “Democrats breached House rules to deny me access to transcripts.”

Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw referred to the House Rules manual last week to slam Schiff’s denial of releasing transcripts to Congressional members.

It remains to be seen if those transcripts materialize as Schiff told Cuomo they would during the interview, in which he also compared the current House investigation to Watergate.

“Now I will say this: The present circumstances are also very different than Watergate and I think for a very fundamental reason, and that is in Watergate it wasn’t that the existence of tapes made all the difference,” he said.

“You know it was certainly important, you know, in this impeachment proceeding, we have the existence of the call record, but I don’t think that’s really what differentiates then from now. I think the main difference is the President now has Fox prime time and that allows his supporters to live in this alternative fact world,” Schiff added, apparently missing the irony of his own use of CNN and other biased media outlets to spew his anti-Trump narrative.

“And, frankly, I think if Richard Nixon had had Fox prime time, he would have never been forced to leave office,” he declared. “And that is what we’re up against. You know, an information environment in which you can live in a world devoid of facts.”

Schiff and the fact-less world he and Democrats have created for themselves was slammed by Twitter users.

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Frieda Powers

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