House Intelligence Committee Chairman 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 effectively denied Republican lawmakers’ request for a government whistleblower to testify in the 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.
Schiff, who has helped lead the impeachment hearings of Trump and his dealings with Ukraine, said in a letter to 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 ranking member of the Intelligence panel, that the whistleblower’s testimony would be “redundant” and “unnecessary,” according to multiple reports.
“The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence — from witnesses and documents, including the President’s own words in his July 25 call record — that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblower’s complaint,” Schiff said. “The whistleblower’s testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary.
Schiff added that “the individual’s appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk” because of Trump’s repeated threats.
The whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of pushing Ukraine to open investigations for his political benefit led House Democrats in September to launch an impeachment inquiry. Multiple House committees have heard depositions from numerous former and current administration officials corroborating the whistleblower’s account behind closed doors, and public hearings are scheduled for this week.
The investigation has centered around allegations that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 presidential candidate 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 and that military aid was tied to Kiev publicly declaring the probe.
Schiff’s statement came just hours after Republicans sent him a letter including a list of individuals they’d like to testify in the public impeachment hearings. The government whistleblower and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, were included on the list.
Nunes on Friday also formally requested that Schiff privately testify amid the investigation, arguing that the congressman was making a “show trial” of the impeachment inquiry.
In his letter to Nunes, Schiff emphasized that he wouldn’t allow lawmakers to use the open hearings to carry out “sham” investigations into the Biden family.
“The committee also will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm,” he said.
Trump and several Republicans have become increasingly outspoken in their push for the whistleblower to testify. Trump claimed last week that the figure had to “come forward” because the person got it “sooo wrong.”