House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff (D-CA), spoke host Jake Tapper Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” and was pressed on the possibility of the Senate wanting to call him as a witness to testify.
The New York Times broke the story on Oct. 2 that Schiff knew about “the outlines” of the whistleblower’s concerns before the Aug. 12 complaint was filed. The whistleblower had contacted an intelligence committee aide after passing along concerns to the CIA’s top lawyer and being “[c]oncerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding,” the Times reported.
New York Times, Oct. 2: The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the [whistleblower] find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff. The aide did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff, an official said.
Schiff had stated that his committee had no contact with the whistleblower before receiving the complaint and claimed, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower,” when the whistleblower had in fact reached out to a committee aide before filing a complaint.
Jake Tapper on Sunday, pressed Schiff on the possibility of the Senate wanting to call him as a witness to testify, to which Schiff refused to commit on the fact of his staff’s involvement with the whistleblower. (Continued Below)
“As you know, if there is a Senate in the trial, the President will be allowed to call his witnesses as well, the Republicans will be able to call their witnesses as well, which will probably include Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, the whistleblower. And President Trump, just yesterday, said that you yourself should be compelled to testify if the House moves forward and goes to the Senate. Would you be willing to do so in the House Judiciary Committee? Would you be willing to do so in the Senate?” Tapper asked Schiff.
“There’s nothing for me to testify about, Jake,” Schiff claimed. “And I think if the President or his allies in the Senate persist in this, it really means they’re not serious about what they’re doing. … I’m not a special counsel. I don’t work for a separate branch of government. I’m not in the Justice Department. I am more in a position than Henry Hyde was during the Clinton impeachment or Peter Rodino during the Nixon impeachment or Sam Ervin. They were not fact witnesses.”
“What would I offer in terms of testimony that– I heard Dr. Hill in an open hearing say such and such?” Schiff asked. “That’s not pertinent. The only reason for them to go through this is to mollify the President and that’s not a good reason to try to call a member of Congress as a witness.” (Continued Below)
Tapper went on to ask: “But you would acknowledge that there are questions you could answer about your staff having been approached by the whistleblower before he filed his complaint and other matters– things that you shed light on or explain. Would you refuse to go if the Senate wanted you to come as a witness?”
“I don’t want to commit on it except to say that if they go down this road, it shows the fundamental lack of seriousness, a willingness to try to turn this into a circus, like the President would like. And I hope they don’t go there,” Schiff said.
“There are others who are fact witnesses we didn’t call in– Senator Johnson. We’re not calling in Devin Nunes, we didn’t call in Senator Graham. There’s a far stronger case for people like Senator Graham who talked to the President– are fact witnesses than the chairman, doing the investigative committee work in the House,” he alleged.
On Saturday, President Trump wrote on Twitter: “Adam Schiff will be compelled to testify should the Democrats decide, despite the fact that my presidential conversations were totally appropriate (perfect), to go forward with the Impeachment Hoax. Polls have now turned very strongly against Impeachment!” (Video Below)
President Trump’s official tweet:
Adam Schiff will be compelled to testify should the Democrats decide, despite the fact that my presidential conversations were totally appropriate (perfect), to go forward with the Impeachment Hoax. Polls have now turned very strongly against Impeachment!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2019
Adam Schiff’s official comments with Jake Tapper:
.@RepAdamSchiff indicates he wouldn’t testify if Republicans subpoena him: "There is nothing to testify about … if they go down this road, it shows a fundamental lack of seriousness. A willingness to try to turn this into a circus." pic.twitter.com/SiLcUf6a8P
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 24, 2019