Rep. Jim Jordan directed reporters to question House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff about witness hearing transcripts that he has yet to release.
The Ohio Republican, who was assigned to the panel as a strategic move by House GOP leadership ahead of the public hearings in the impeachment investigation of President Trump, vented his frustration Friday on Schiff’s delay.
“I thought we were in the public stage of this so-called impeachment inquiry. But yet, here in just a few minutes, we’re going back to the bunker in the basement of the Capitol for another deposition that the American people won’t get to see,” Jordan told reporters.
“What they also haven’t seen yet are four transcripts of people who have already been deposed, which means under House rules we cannot use that testimony in these proceedings,” he added. “We would like to use parts of the testimony from Mr. Morrison as an example in the open hearings but we are prohibited under House rules from doing that.”
The lawmaker was making reference to closed-door testimony given by the National Security Council’s outgoing senior director of European and Russian affairs and White House deputy assistant, Tim Morrison. The other depositions that have been part of Schiff’s strategic plan of selectively holding and leaking parts of transcripts are from Vice President Mike Pence’s special adviser on Europe and Russia, Jennifer Williams, as well as from David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs; and top State Department diplomat in charge of U.S. policy for Europe, Philip Reeker.
“So a great question for you all to ask Mr. Schiff is when is he going to release those transcripts so we can actually use that information in the public hearings?” Jordan said to reporters.
We now have both the April and July calls between President Trump and President Zelensky. Once again, no linkage of any kind.
The WH has displayed unprecedented transparency.
Meanwhile, Democrats haven’t even released all of the deposition transcripts.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) November 15, 2019
The congressman had questioned the committee chairman again about the transcripts during Friday’s televised hearing with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
.@RepAdamSchiff hasn’t even released the testimony from all of the closed-door depositions.
We are prohibited by House rules from discussing that testimony in these open hearings.
What a sham. pic.twitter.com/cbC6uya8B7
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) November 15, 2019
“The chairman has promised that we’d get to see the transcripts but there are still four people that we have not been able to see their transcripts,” Jordan said.
“Therefore, the testimony they provided, we’re not able to use in these open hearings,” Jordan added. “If it’s an open hearing, all the available testimony of depositions that has been taken by the committee should be available to be discussed, for the American people to see.”
Morrison and Williams were on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That call prompted a whistleblower complaint — which sparked the impeachment inquiry — about Trump allegedly asking Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s Biden’s business dealings in the country.
Morrison, Hale and Williams are set to appear before the House next week to testify.
Schiff has come under fire this week as the public hearings began for his seemingly political oversight of the proceedings which have provided testimony from anti-Trump witnesses who actually did not witness anything at all, but simply got their information through second and thirdhand sources.
The California Democrat was slammed for shutting down New York GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik multiple times during the hearings, prompting some accusations of sexism.
‘What’s he afraid of?’ Schiff’s repeated attempts to shut down GOP congresswoman does not go unnoticed https://t.co/dIZXA6Kqqa
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 15, 2019
Jordan and Schiff clashed on multiple occasions, with the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee jabbing the Democrat at one point over accommodating his behavior.
(Video: Fox News)
“Mr. Jordan, I have indulged you with extra time — ” Schiff told the GOP lawmaker during Friday’s questioning of Yovanovitch, who also had no firsthand knowledge of the call between Trump and Zelensky.
“I appreciate it,” Jordan replied as he tried to get back to the witness.
“ — but indulgence is wearing out,” Schiff continued. “There is a question, right?”
“Our indulgence wore out with you a long time ago, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you that,” Jordan shot back.
“I’m about to gavel you down so if you have a question, I suggest you ask it,” Schiff responded after Jordan’s remark drew laughter.
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