House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said he does not know the identity of the whistleblower that started the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
At the beginning of the first public impeachment inquiry hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who was temporarily moved to the Intelligence Committee, asked Schiff when they could vote on having the whistleblower testify since it was he who wanted to hear their testimony in the first place.
“You are the only member who knows who that individual is, and your staff is the only staff of any member of Congress who has had a chance to talk with that individual,” Jordan said. “We would like that opportunity. When might that happen in this proceeding today?”
“First, as the gentleman knows, that’s a false statement. I do not know the identity of the whistleblower and I’m determined to make sure the identity is protected,” Schiff replied. “But as I said to Mr. Conway, you’ll have an opportunity after the witnesses have testified to make a motion to subpoena any witness and compel a vote.”
The Intelligence Committee had contact with the whistleblower prior to them filing the complaint over Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The committee maintains they simply told the whistleblower to file the complaint with the Inspector General’s office as they do with any inquiries of that nature.
Schiff previously stated he and the committee had “not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” He also expressed his desire at the very start of the impeachment inquiry to have the whistleblower testify, but has since changed his mind. He said because of concern for the whistleblower’s safety and because other witnesses have confirmed what they raised the alarm over, having them testify would be “redundant and unnecessary.”
However, back in October, the Intelligence Community Inspector General said “the whistleblower did not disclose contact w Schiff/Committee staff – so IG never looked into it.”
A few days before that The New York Times reported Schiff knew about the whistleblower’s accusation before anyone filed a complaint.
Even The Washington Post gave Schiff four Pinocchios because for two months he kept claiming no one on his committee spoke to the whistleblower.
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