House Republicans plan to call former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDecember Democratic debate venue switched to Loyola Marymount University Biden expresses shock that Trump considers attending Russia May Day event Strategists say Warren ‘Medicare for All’ plan could appeal to centrists MORE‘s son Hunter Biden and the Ukraine whistleblower, among other witnesses, to testify as the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer National Security Adviser John Bolton gets book deal: report Trump administration proposes fee for asylum applications, spike in other immigration fees Biden expresses shock that Trump considers attending Russia May Day event MORE shifts to a new, public phase.
“Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats’ efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week,” Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHouse Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list Nunes demands Schiff testify behind closed doors in Trump impeachment inquiry Democrats aim to impeach Trump by Christmas MORE (R-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, wrote in a letter to the panel’s Democratic chairman, Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump calls for Pelosi, Schiff, Biden and others to be witnesses in impeachment inquiry Schiff warns GOP: Impeachment probe won’t undertake ‘sham’ investigations into Bidens House Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list MORE (D-Calif.), on Saturday.
“To provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process, and after consultation with [House Oversight and Reform Committee] Ranking Member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list Schiff told Gaetz to ‘absent yourself’ in fiery exchange: impeachment transcript House Republicans add Jordan to Intel panel for impeachment probe MORE and [House Foreign Affairs Committee] Ranking Member Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulHouse Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list Trump: Whistleblower ‘must come forward’ House approves Turkey sanctions in rare bipartisan rebuke of Trump MORE, the American people deserve to hear from the following witnesses in an open setting,” he added.
In requesting testimony from the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry, Nunes said that “Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers,” especially with what he claimed were “discrepancies” between the whistleblower’s complaint and witnesses’ closed-door testimony.
“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,” Nunes wrote.
In addition to the anonymous whistleblower, whose complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky president is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans also plan to call Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer.
It is unclear how many of the GOP’s requested witnesses will be approved by the majority House Democrats and Schiff, though several lawmakers have already expressed concerns about the possibility of outing the anonymous whistleblower.
Hunter Biden worked on the board of a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch while his father served as vice president. Joe Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been accused of overlooking corruption in his own office, threatening to withhold money if the prosecutor was not fired.
There’s no evidence that Joe Biden was acting with his son’s interests in mind, and the former vice president has denied the allegations. But Trump and his allies, including his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiImpeachment tests Barr-Trump relationship House Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list Key impeachment witnesses to know as public hearings begin MORE, have pushed for an investigation into the Bidens.
In a sign the House GOP may be looking beyond the current scope of the investigation, one of the witnesses included in the wish list is Nellie Ohr, a former Fusion GPS employee who is a top Republican target over their claims she helped produce the Steele dossier.
Republicans also listed several officials who have already testified behind closed doors, including Tim Morrison, the outgoing top White House Russia expert; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council; and Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerTrump says that he will ‘probably’ release transcript from April phone call with Zelensky Tuesday House Republicans add Hunter Biden, whistleblower to impeachment hearing witness wish list Key impeachment witnesses to know as public hearings begin MORE, the former U.S. envoy to Ukraine.
The House’s impeachment inquiry was launched in September amid Democratic concerns that Trump leveraged $400 million in military aid to pressure Zelensky to publicly open an investigation on unfounded corruption allegations against Joe Biden, a top political rival.
While the White House and its allies have cast the impeachment as a sham, Democrats have publicized testimony from several witnesses saying they believed there was a quid pro quo surrounding Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
This breaking news report was updated at 10: 14 a.m.