Aside from the secretive closed-door hearings and selective leaks to the media, one of the biggest complaints House Republicans have about the impeachment inquiry being led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) is an allegation that his staff met with the so-called “whistleblower” prior to the formal filing of the complaint that sparked the whole impeachment charade.
Now, many House Republicans — including Intelligence Committee member Elise Stefanik (R-NY) — are demanding that Schiff be compelled to testify under oath right alongside the alleged whistleblower in a hearing to answer questions about their apparent relationship and potential coordination, according to The Daily Wire.
Schiff “needs to answer questions”
Rep. Stefanik’s call for Schiff to testify came during an appearance Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends to discuss the current impeachment inquiry and the so-called “whistleblower.” Asked about whether the whistleblower should be compelled to testify in a hearing, Stefanik said:
The whistleblower should answer questions under oath. But more importantly, Adam Schiff needs to answer questions under oath.
“I was the first member of Congress to ask when did Adam Schiff have access to the whistleblower,” Stefanik continued. “We know now that that was before the whistleblower submitted his complaint to the inspector general. So there are a lot of serious questions about the coordination between the whistleblower and Chairman Schiff.”
Co-host Steve Doocy noted that a hearing involving both Schiff and the whistleblower answering pointed questions could make Schiff look bad. And Stefanik agrees.
“Absolutely, and this needs to be done under oath,” she said. “It’s interesting. Adam Schiff at first wanted the whistleblower to testify, but as it became clear that there was coordination between the whistleblower and Adam Schiff and the Democratic staff members, now Adam Schiff is backtracking that, which is why our first witness will be Adam Schiff.”
Doocy then referenced the recent resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry, which was passed along party lines on Halloween. But while it seems to grant Republicans subpoena power, the resolution notes that those subpoenas have to be approved by Schiff — something he would be unlikely to do if the subpoena was for himself.
“This is a partisan resolution that was brought to the floor last week, passed with only Democratic support,” Stefanik explained. “It limited our ability to subpoena witnesses unless Adam Schiff signed off on it. It also allowed Adam Schiff to retract portions of testimony as they’re released.”
Counsel, judge, and jury
Unfortunately, according to Stefanik, “this has been a partisan process from the start. Adam Schiff has conducted himself as counsel to the witnesses, as judge, and jury, and the American people deserve transparency,” she said.
She went on to say that “impeachment is more than a political buzz word.”
“This is a serious constitutional process [that] the American people deserve access to 100%. They should be open hearings and the media deserves access,” she concluded — and it’s hard not to agree. Take a look:
I was the first Member to ask when Adam Schiff had access to the whistleblower & it’s now clear there was significant coordination between the whistleblower and Schiff’s Democratic staff. Our 1st witness must be Adam Schiff. Watch my interview from this AM with @foxandfriends 👇 pic.twitter.com/wQYYpwljBB
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) November 5, 2019