The impeachment campaign against President Trump continues to eat news cycles, but it’s becoming more like bad fiction every day. Right now the big question is whether or not the CIA whistleblower, who claims the president tried to make a quid pro quo with Ukraine, will appear in live hearings or not. Chief impeachment nut Adam Schiff said he would — but now he says he won’t. Republicans, already suspicious of the whole politically-motivated mess, are not amused.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) is leading the charge to impeach President Trump — but the way he’s going about it is attracting a lot of criticism right now. The main issue is the question of whether or not the notorious “whistleblower” will actually give testimony or not.
- The whistleblower claims that, during a phone call with the president of Ukraine, Trump offered political favors in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden’s son and his business dealings in Ukraine.
- Usually, a whistleblower has to have actual knowledge of whatever they’re trying to reveal — but it later turned out that this one didn’t actually hear the phone call where the alleged discussion took place. They’re relying on hearsay, which wasn’t acceptable for intelligence community whistleblowers until the rules were quietly changed this year.
- The whistleblower complaint was released by the House Intelligence Committee on September 26th; at the time, Schiff promised the actual source would give testimony to the committee “very soon.” However, soon after that, criticism of the hearsay aspect started to grow.
- There’s also a question over the fact that the whistleblower actually met with Schiff’s staff before submitting the complaint, and may have been coached on how to cause maximum damage to the president.
- Schiff soon began backtracking on calling the source, a CIA officer, to give testimony. On October 13th he said there was “no need” for direct testimony because a transcript of the call validates the complaint.
- The senior Republicans on the committees working on impeachment aren’t convinced. Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) wrote to Schiff Wednesday, saying they’re “surprised” that he’s walked back on his promise of whistleblower testimony.
- The letter goes on to point out that the whistleblower is now known to have a personal bias against the president, and also reminded Schiff of the pre-complaint meetings with his staff — which Schiff failed to disclose at the time.
- Jordan and McCaul say that the inquiry is collecting more and more information that contradicts the whistleblower’s claims. That means, they say, that it’s important the committees are allowed to question him in person to get at the truth. Schiff, in his crusade to overthrow the president, seems happy if the truth stays buried.
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