Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) formally requested that House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) testify in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, noting that Schiff misled the public about his team’s interaction with the person who filed a complaint against Trump.
“On November 6th, you announced the beginning of public hearings associated with the Democratic Party’s partisan impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump. Based on precedent and lack of jurisdiction, the House Intelligence Committee should not take the lead in conducting such hearings; however, by now the American people know your desire to see the duly-elected president removed from office outweighs your sense of responsibility to running a functioning intelligence oversight committee,” Nunes wrote in a Nov. 8 letter to Schiff.
He said he was requesting that Schiff sit for a closed-door deposition before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight Committees.
“As the American public is now aware, in August 2019, you and/or your staff met with or talked to the whistleblower,” Nunes wrote.
“Although you publicly claim nothing inappropriate was discussed, the three committees deserve to hear directly from you the substance and circumstances surrounding any discussions conducted with the whistleblower and any instructions you issued regarding those discussions. Given that you have reneged on your public commitment to let the committees interview the whistleblower directly, you are the only individual who can provide clarity as to these conversations.”
Schiff said during a mid-September MSNBC appearance, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.”
In early October, reports emerged that Schiff received information from the whistleblower before the person filed a complaint against Trump. Schiff’s spokesman confirmed the contact.
Schiff said he regretted what he said on MSNBC.
“We try not to confirm when people have come in. I was really thinking along the lines of wanting to get him to come in to testify,” Schiff said. “I regret that I wasn’t much more clear.”
“I should have been much more clear,” he added on CBS on Oct. 13. “And I said so the minute it was brought to my attention that I was referring to the fact that when the whistleblower filed the complaint, we had not heard from the whistleblower. We wanted to bring the whistleblower in at that time. But I should’ve been much more clear about that.”
Schiff initially said the whistleblower would testify to Congress but backed away after the contact between the person and his team was revealed.
“Given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower, who wasn’t on the call, to tell us what took place during the call,” Schiff told CBS. “We have the best evidence of that.”
Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, in the Friday letter cited precedence, noting that a sitting member of Congress agreed to sit for closed-door depositions during the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
That Congress member was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), who is no longer in office.
“Given your championing of such an arrangement two years ago, you should have no problem with you appearing before the three committees to discuss your interaction with the whistleblower,” Nunes wrote.