Top Republicans Demand Democrats to Reveal Whistleblower, Testify Publicly

The GOP leaders on House committees involved in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have called on the whistleblower, who reported concerns about the White House’s dealings with Ukraine, to testify in public.

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) sent a letter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the head of the House Intelligence Committee, demanding to hear from the whistleblower.

“As the so-called impeachment inquiry gathers information that contradicts the employee’s allegations, we ask that you arrange for the committees to receive public testimony from the employee and all individuals he or she relied upon in formulating the complaint,” the lawmakers said, reported CBS News.

The whistleblower lodged a complaint against President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, he asked about investigating former Vice President Joe Biden’s dealings with Ukraine. The White House later released a transcript of the phone call, showing that Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to “look into” Biden and his son, Hunter. It doesn’t appear to show any quid pro quo.

The report kicked off a series of events that eventually led to House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) announcement that Democrats would be seeking an inquiry into impeachment.

“Several witnesses have offered closed-door testimony in this so-called impeachment inquiry that rebuts the central assertion of the anonymous employee’s complaint,” the ranking members also told Schiff on Wednesday.

Bill Taylor (C), the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, arrives at a closed session before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees on Oct. 22, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

They said that the complaint by the whistleblower contradicted the transcript of the phone call and “contains no reference to the 2020 presidential election,” CBS reported.

The whistleblower also has to come forward, they argued, so as to “fully assess the sources and credibility of the employee.”

Trump has repeatedly said that he wants to know who the whistleblower could be.

“Where’s the Whistleblower?” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Republicans have blasted the impeachment depositions that have been taking place under the House Oversight, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs Committees.

On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and about a dozen other GOP lawmakers went into the House Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), and according to one lawmaker, House Democrats ended the hearing and left.

The representatives went into a secure hearing to attempt to view testimony into the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Rep. Fred Keller (R-Penn.), in a video, said Schiff left the room along with other House Democrats.

“They must not want all of Congress to know what’s going on in that room,” Keller said.

Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-Ohio), speaks to the media
House Oversight and Reform Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-Ohio), speaks to the media during a press conference in Washington on Oct. 23, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

The move was blasted by House Democrats.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said that “we want to hear from this witness but so do the other members of Congress.”

“This may be within House rules, that’s not the question,” he said of the closed-door hearings. “The question is, is it a good idea to try and impeach the president in secret hearings,” according to The Hill.