Trump Adviser Dares Schiff to Testify During House Impeachment Hearing

December 2, 2019 Updated: December 2, 2019

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway challenged House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Dec. 2 to answer questions as a witness in the impeachment inquiry.

Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, told reporters at the White House on Dec. 2 that she would appear to testify on behalf of the White House if Schiff also appeared and answered questions.

Conway said that Schiff is a “fact witness.”

“They have to be more definitive about what they’re doing and they’re not definitive,” Conway said about top House Democrats. “First it’s the Judiciary Committee and then you’ve got Intel.”

“Is Adam Schiff going to testify? Because he’s a fact witness. That would be great. I’ll tell you what, if Adam Schiff testifies, I’ll show up on behalf of the White House,” she added.

Conway also appeared on Fox News’ “America Newsroom” to rail against the impeachment inquiry.

“The White House counsel made very clear this is an illegitimate and unconstitutional process and we maintain that,” she said. “Twelve witnesses, 30 hours later there are no bombshells, a lot of bombs. I keep hearing all these analogies and comparisons to the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment. And the fact is there was evidence of crimes there, direct evidence.”

Counselor to President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, speaks to the press at the White House in Washington on Dec. 2, 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

“Why would we participate in an exercise where they’re going to have three witnesses, we allowed to have one, it’s constitutional law? Does Adam Schiff want to testify?” she said.

Top Republican lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have said Schiff should testify about his team’s contact with the anonymous intelligence staffer widely known as the whistleblower who filed a complaint against Trump.

Schiff said on national television on Sept. 17: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”

“I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern,” he told reporters in Washington two days later.

GOP members exploded after a report emerged on Oct. 2 saying that Schiff received an “early account by the future whistleblower” days before the person filed the complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community. The report was soon confirmed by a Schiff spokesperson.

“I regret that I wasn’t much more clear,” Schiff said. “I should have been much more clear,” he added later in October.

Schiff has insisted, though, that he does not know the identity of the whistleblower, a claim mocked by Republicans, who in turn say Schiff is the only member of Congress who knows the person’s identity.

Schiff addressed calls for him to testify last week, saying during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that it would display “a fundamental lack of seriousness, a willingness to try to turn this into a circus, like the president would like,” if he were called as a witness in a Senate trial.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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