Republicans have long taken issue with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump — and they aren’t backing down now.
After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) failed to release transcripts for all of the impeachment hearings Democrats held in private, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called him out on it, according to Fox News.
Jordan wants the transcripts
During the second public impeachment hearing on Friday, Jordan attempted to raise a point of order about the unreleased transcripts that Schiff initially sought to ignore and dismiss, according to Breitbart. While Jordan was initially denied the chance to speak, he later got his point across.
“The chairman has promised that we’d get to see the transcripts, but there are still four people that we’ve deposed that we have not been able to use that, see their transcripts, have their transcripts released,” the congressman said. “And therefore, the testimony they provided we’re not able to use in these open hearings.”
Jordan went on: “If it’s an open hearing, all the available testimony from depositions that has been taken by the committee should be available to be discussed, for the American people to see.”
But that hasn’t been the case. According to Jordan, testimonies from “Mr. Morrison, Mr. Hale, and two others — Ms. Williams — two others and another one, have not yet been released.”
The four witnesses Jordan was referring to were National Security Council official Tim Morrison, State Department official David Hale, vice presidential aide Jennifer Williams, and State Department official Phillip Reeker, according to Fox.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 15, 2019
Schiff keeps things secret
Schiff’s office later told the media that the transcripts would be released “shortly,” but they declined to provide a specific timeline. Still, Jordan’s demand for their release was entirely valid, particularly in light of the fact that Morrison, Hale, and Williams are all scheduled to testify publicly in the coming week, and their prior testimony behind-closed-doors will be crucial for questioning during the open hearings.
Axios reported that the transcripts for both Morrison and Williams were finally released on Saturday. It remains unclear at this time when the other depositions Jordan referenced will be released for the public to read for themselves.
Meanwhile, although it can’t be said with certainty that Schiff was deliberately withholding these transcripts, the fact that others had been released while they remained secret — even as the impeachment inquiry had purportedly shifted into a more transparent phase — seems awfully suspicious.
It is no wonder then that so few have any confidence in Schiff’s ability to conduct fair and nonpartisan impeachment proceedings. As so many others have said, this isn’t an impeachment inquiry — it’s an impeachment sham.