House Republicans have submitted a list of witnesses they want to call in the weeks to come as part of the impeachment inquiry into a phone call President Donald Trump made to the president of Ukraine.
The list, submitted to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, chairmen of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, includes former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, along with the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint eventually led to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for an impeachment inquiry.
"Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats' efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week," Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Republican member, wrote on Saturday in a letter to Schiff.
"To provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process, and after consultation with [House Oversight and Reform Committee] Ranking Member Jim Jordan and Ranking Member Michael McCaul, (House Foreign Affairs Committee) the American people deserve to hear from the following witnesses in an open setting," Nunes wrote.
Republicans requested seven people by name to testify in public hearings, in addition to the whistleblower and “All individuals" the whistleblower relied upon to draft the complaint.
Schiff, in a letter responding to Nunes, said the whistleblower's testimony is "redundant and unnecessary" because the inquiry had produced evidence that "not only confirms, but far exceeds" information in the original complaint.
It was the whistleblower’s complaint about a July 25 phone call Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that sparked the impeachment inquiry. In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden’s ties to a Ukrainian energy company as well as a theory that forces in Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
Trump has called the call "perfect," and said he was asking Zelensky to clean up corruption in his country in advance of any more military aid being sent from the U.S.
In a response Schiff sent Saturday, he also told Nunes that Biden would not be called to testify.
"This inquiry is not, and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or to facilitate the President's effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm," Schiff wrote.
In late October, the House passed a resolution that explained how the impeachment inquiry would be conducted, including allowing Republicans on the Intelligence Committee to request witnesses be brought to testify.
According to the resolution, the request only can be granted by Schiff or by a majority of the committee’s members. Democrats hold a majority on the committee.
Here are the people Republicans requested be called to testify:
- Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden and former board member of Burisma Holdings, an energy company in Ukraine
- Devon Archer, former board member of Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden's former business partner
- Alexandra Chalupa, a one-time Democratic National Committee staffer
- David Hale, ;undersecretary of state for political affairs
- Tim Morrison, former National Security Council senior director for European and Russian affairs
- Nellie Ohr, former contractor for Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm
- Kurt Volker, former U.S. envoy to Ukraine
- The anonymous whistleblower
- "All individuals" the whistleblower queried to collect information and draft the complaint
In requesting the testimony, Nunes said “Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers, and that “It is imperative that the American people hear definitively how the whistleblower developed his or her information, and who else the whistleblower may have fed the information he or she gathered and how that treatment of classified information may have led to the false narrative being perpetrated by the Democrats during this process.”
Read Nunes’ letter below to see the reasoning behind each request for a public hearing with each person.
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