Adam Schiff Now Says Whistleblower May Not Ever Testify


Adam Schiff initially said the whistleblower would testify before Congress.

Now?

He’s changing his tune.

And many suspect foulplay or total BS:

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From Axios:

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on CBS’ "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine may not need testimony from the whistleblower who filed the complaint that set off the impeachment inquiry.

Why it matters: Schiff said that asking for a testimony could unnecessarily harm the whistleblower by exposing their identity, especially with Trump accusing the official of partisanship and repeatedly calling for them to be unmasked.

  • House Democrats have reportedly been considering how to collect testimony from the official while protecting their identity from Trump's allies in Congress, including the possibility of testifying via a video feed that would obscure their face and voice.
  • Schiff noted that a summary of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of the whistleblower’s complaint is now public and that the committees may be able to get pertinent information from other witnesses.

What they're saying: "Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected. Indeed, now there’s more than one whistleblower, that they are protected,” Schiff said.

  • "We do want to make sure that we identify other evidence that is pertinent to the [investigation] — the withholding of the military support, the effort to cover this up by hiding this in a classified computer system. ... It may not be necessary to take steps that might reveal the whistleblower’s identity to do that."

Politico had more:

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff indicated Sunday that the whistleblower at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump might not testify over concerns about the person’s safety. 

Schiff’s remarks come after Trump dramatically escalated his attacks on the whistleblower and as he repeatedly calls for the official to be unmasked. Trump’s unrelenting barrage has spurred worries from Democrats that congressional Republicans might try to reveal that person’s identity — conceivably endangering his or her safety — at the behest of the president. 

Schiff (D-Calif.) said the whistleblower’s testimony might not be needed given that a rough transcript of the call with Trump asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a “favor” — the centerpiece of the whistleblower’s complaint — is public. In addition, lawmakers have a collected a tranche of damning text messages and witness testimony related to the scandal in the past two weeks. 

“Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected. Indeed, now there’s more than one whistleblower, that they are protected,” Schiff said on CBS’ “Face the Nation“ on Sunday. 

A second whistleblower, reportedly with direct knowledge of the call, is being represented by the same legal team as the first official, but it’s unclear what information, if any, that person has provided House investigators. 

“We do want to make sure that we identify other evidence that is pertinent to the [investigation] — the withholding of the military support, the effort to cover this up by hiding this in a classified computer system,” Schiff continued. “It may not be necessary to take steps that might reveal the whistleblower’s identity to do that.” 

House Democrats are entering week four of their impeachment inquiry as they investigate efforts by Trump and his allies to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and his son Hunter to help Trump’s reelection. At the heart of the investigation is whether Trump withheld military aid and a much sought after White House meeting requested by the newly elected Zelensky in a bid to force Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. 

Hunter Biden, whose role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company is at the center of Trump’s unfounded allegations of corruption, announced Sunday he was stepping down from the board of a Chinese equity firm. He also said he wouldn’t work for foreign-owned businesses if his father wins the presidency in 2020. 

Several Republicans, meanwhile, refused to answer questions Sunday about whether it were acceptable for Trump to solicit foreign assistance for political gain, instead attacking the former vice president and House Democrats. 

“He expresses whatever's on his mind. And people can take that and twist it any way they want to,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.“ “But the new precedent for impeachment is that we don't like this president that just got elected, so we're going to spend all four years trying to impeach him.” 

Host Jake Tapper circled back to the subject, but Cramer’s answers remained basically the same. 

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) also dodged the question during an appearance on ABC. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) made headlines last week for repeatedly refusing to answer similar questions. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) responded "of course not" when asked by CBS' Margaret Brennan whether it was appropriate for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden's family. 

"Elections in the U.S. should be decided by Americans and it's not the business of foreign countries, any foreign countries, to be interfering in our elections," Cruz added, without mentioning Trump by name. 

Republicans have generally been reluctant to answer questions about whether it is proper for Trump to solicit foreign assistance, instead attacking House Democrats over how they’re conducting the investigation. 

“There should be a process, but instead what Adam Schiff wants is to get United States of America drunk on his favorite cocktail,” Zeldin said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.“ “There's three ingredients: One is cherry-picking leaks, second is withholding facts, and three is just outright lying.”

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