Schiff Claims He Does 'Not Know the Identity' of Anti-Trump 'Whistleblower'
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff makes bizarre revelation during hearings
As the Democrats' impeachment inquiry hearings got underway on Wednesday morning, Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) made a puzzling claim that he does "not know the identity" of the anti-Trump "whistleblower" whose complaint triggered the proceedings.
The impeachment inquiry was kicked off when the "whistleblower" filed a complaint after mischaracterizing a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, based on second-hand information.
During the first of the live-televised public hearings, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked Schiff when the committee might be able to vote and have the whistleblower come and testify regarding his complaint against the president.
Jordan said that Schiff was the “only member” that knows the identity of the whistleblower.
“I do not know the identity of the whistleblower, and I’m going to make sure that identity is protected,” Schiff claimed.
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The reaction by Republicans was reported by Alex Miller of Newsy, who said on Twitter: “Schiff says he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower, entire front row of republicans laugh.”
Schiff says he doesn't know the identity of the whistleblower, entire front row of republicans laugh.— Alex Miller (@AlexMillerNews) November 13, 2019
Daily Mail reporter David Martosko said: “Adam Schiff claims he doesn’t know the identity of the Ukraine whistle-blower.
"How is this possible? His staff met with the person.”
Adam Schiff claims he doesn't know the identity of the Ukraine whistle-blower. How is this possible? His staff met with the person.— David Martosko (@dmartosko) November 13, 2019
Notably, Schiff seems to be laying the groundwork of impeachment not just for his call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, but also for possible obstruction charges.
“Although we have learned a great deal about these events in the last several weeks, there are still missing pieces,” Rep. Schiff said.
“The President has instructed the State Department and other agencies to ignore Congressional subpoenas for documents.
"He has instructed witnesses to defy subpoenas and refuse to appear. And he has suggested that those who do expose wrongdoing should be treated like traitors and spies.”
“These actions will force Congress to consider, as it did with President Nixon, whether Trump’s obstruction of the constitutional duties of Congress constitutes additional grounds for impeachment,” he continued.
“If the President can simply refuse all oversight, particularly in the context of an impeachment proceeding, the balance of power between our two branches of government will be irrevocably altered.
"That is not what the Founders intended.”
“If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?” he also said.
“Does the oath of office itself — requiring that our laws be faithfully executed, that our president defend a constitution that balances the powers of its branches, setting ambition against ambition so that we become no monarchy — still have meaning?”
Rep. Schiff has been one of the loudest voices among Democrats calling for Trump’s impeachment.
He earned the wrath of Trump after he read a misleading “transcript” of Trump’s call with Zelensky in September, which Schiff called a “parody.”
Trump responded by asking if he should be arrested for treason.
The public impeachment hearings that began Wednesday feature testimony by William Taylor, top U.S. diplomat, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.