Schiff Fears Republicans Will Call Witnesses Who Will 'Smear' Trump Opponents
Anti-Trump Democrat says he's 'concerned' about Republicans' impeachment witnesses
Anti-Trump Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) says he's "concerned" about who the Republicans will call as impeachment witnesses, claiming they will only produce people who will "smear the president's opponents."
Speaking during an interview on Thursday’s “CBS Evening News,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff attempted to explain why Republicans' witnesses could be blocked from appearing at public hearings.
Schiff was asked whether he could assure Republicans that Democrats won’t block witnesses.
He answered by saying he wants to know in advance who Republicans want to call in case they produce witnesses for "improper purposes.”
Schiff sais he is concerned that Republicans will “propose a bunch of witnesses that have no bearing."
He then added that witnesses will be used "merely to smear the president’s opponents or for other improper purposes.”
“Republicans say they’re concerned that the Democrats will block the witnesses that they want to hear from. Can you assure them that you won’t reject those witnesses?" Host Norah O’Donnell asked Schiff.
Schiff replied: “Well, we’ve asked them for proffer of which witnesses they think are relevant, and I have to say, we have concerns that they’re going to propose a bunch of witnesses that have no bearing, that they can use merely to smear the president’s opponents or for other improper purposes.
"It’s important to note that, to the contrary of what they have been saying, in both Clinton and the Nixon impeachments, the minority did not have the right to call witnesses on their own unilaterally.
"They could call for a vote, but it was a majority vote, that they were not assured of winning.
"So, we would love to hear who they’re interested in having come before the committee.
"But given the kind of circus-like tactics, the storming of the SCIF and all the stunts the president puts them up to, we can’t surrender the process to the minority party.”
"We have concerns [Republicans are] going to propose a bunch of witnesses that have no bearing that they can use to smear the president opponents or other improper purposes," House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) tells @NorahODonnell https://t.co/76H00U13K8 pic.twitter.com/kbtPtPNuys— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 1, 2019
Earlier this week, Schiff's anonymous "whistleblower," whose complaint about President Trump's phone conversation with Ukraine's leader triggered the impeachment inquiry, was named in a bombshell report.
RealClear Investigations published a report on Wednesday, revealing the name of the person they claim is the infamous anti-Trump “whistleblower,” identifying the person as CIA analyst and former Joe Biden employee Eric Ciaramella.
House Democrats reportedly blocked Republicans from asking questions about Ciaramella this week.
Democrats argue that they “intend to redact his name from all deposition transcripts.”
The report says Ciaramella is 33-years-old, a registered Democrat who began working at the White House during the Obama administration and previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan.
Ciaramella left the Trump administration’s National Security Council in mid-2017 over concerns about negative leaks to the media and then returned to the CIA, the outlet reported.
“He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” a former NSC official told RealClearInvestigiations.