Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters on Thursday that he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower, saying that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chief of the House Intelligence Committee of the impeachment inquiry, should call the person to testify.
Jordan, a ranking member on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said Republicans have been asked to submit a list of their witnesses. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the senior Republican on the Intelligence Committee, can subpoena a witness with the approval of Schiff, meaning that Jordan’s move to call on the whistleblower to testify may bear little fruit.
“We’ll see if he gives us any of our witnesses,” Jordan told reporters on Thursday.
Schiff said that he does not want the whistleblower to testify, citing safety reasons.
“The president’s allies would like nothing better than to help the president out this whistleblower. Our committee will not be a part of that,” Schiff told reporters last week, according to The Hill. “They have the right to remain anonymous. They certainly should not be subject to these kinds of vicious attacks.”
The whistleblower filed a complaint over the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, where he expressed a desire to have Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, his son.
This week, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy floated the possibility of moving Jordan to the Intelligence Committee this week.
“It’s up to the leader. It’s up to Devin [Nunes],” Jordan said. “We want to get the truth out and get out of this bunker so the American people can see what’s going on.”
The House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry is starting to enter the public phase after weeks of closed-door testimonials. The House Intelligence Committee this week released four transcripts.
In the Senate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution to reaffirm whistleblower protections, saying that Democrats are guilty of “selective outrage.”
“I support whistleblowers, and I do think they have a role to play in keeping government accountable … but what we have seen over the last few years is that we have a system that we should continue to refine,” said Paul on Wednesday afternoon, The Hill reported.
Paul said that his legislation on whistleblowers would make clear that Trump should be able to face his accuser, the whistleblower.
“The bill I will introduce today will expand the whistleblower act [and] would be made retroactive so Edward Snowden can come home to live in his own country. All he did was expose that his government was not obeying the Constitution,” Paul said.