Schiff Blocked Witness From Answering Crucial Questions During Impeachment Hearing: Congress Members

October 30, 2019 Updated: October 31, 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) blocked the National Security Council staffer who testified to some members of Congress on Oct. 29 from answering some questions asked by Republican representatives, GOP members alleged.

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified behind closed doors to Schiff and other members of Congress.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said at a press conference that Schiff wouldn’t allow Vindman to answer some questions from Republicans during the impeachment hearing.

“When we asked who he spoke to after important events in July—Adam Schiff says, ‘no, no, no, we’re not going to let him answer that question,”‘ Jordan said.

“Adam Schiff, among many things, has been trying to claim that this is a fair process by saying that Republicans are allowed to ask questions,” Scalise added.

“Now he gets to choose all the witnesses, and him and himself only, which means it’s not a fair process on the face. But even his claim now, that Republicans can ask questions, has been undermined because now he’s directing witnesses not to answer questions that he doesn’t want the witness to answer if they’re asked by Republicans.”

“He’s not cut off one Democrat, he’s not interrupted one Democrat and told a witness not to answer Democrat members’ questions, but today he started telling the witness not to answer questions by certain Republicans. That reeks,” Scalise said.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, (C), director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 29, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“It’s clear Pelosi needs to declare a mistrial. This has been a tainted process from the start. What happened today confirms even worse just how poorly Adam Schiff is handling this process, denying the ability for Republicans to even ask basic questions that are critical to the heart of whether or not a President of the United States is impeached.”

Jordan took time to criticize the resolution laying out the next phase of the inquiry, which was released on Tuesday and, according to Democrats, will make the inquiry more transparent while giving Republicans and the president rights during the process.

“The Democrats run out here and say, ‘Ooh, the Republicans are trying to figure out who the whistleblower is,'” Jordan said. “We’re trying to figure out who our witness list is! The resolution that the Speaker has just filed … she points this out in the resolution that this is going to go to the Judiciary Committee if in fact they push it there. There will be witnesses called. We would like to figure out who those witnesses should be.”

Jordan said Schiff is the only member of Congress who knows who the whistleblower is, and he’s working to shield that information from the others.

“I pointed out last week there are 435 members of Congress … only one of them knows who the whistleblower is, more importantly, who the sources are for the whistleblower that were the basis of him filing this complaint. And somehow he doesn’t want anyone else to know that,” Jordan said.

“Mr. Schiff and his staff are the only ones in America who can know, and it’s evidence about his sensitivity—you saw it on display today when we tried to ask the witness certain questions and Mr. Schiff would not let him answer.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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