Trump Calls for Schiff to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry to Explain ‘Fabricated’ Statements

November 12, 2019 Updated: November 12, 2019

President Donald Trump has backed Republicans’ demands for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the head of the House Intelligence Committee, to testify in the impeachment inquiry.

In a series of heated tweets, Trump described the impeachment probe as a “one-sided Witch Hunt,” accusing Schiff of fabricating a portion of the transcript of the call at the center of the inquiry between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts. We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer,” Trump wrote on Nov. 11 on Twitter.

“Republicans should put out their own transcripts! Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!”

His comments come after Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), in a Nov. 8 letter to Schiff, formally requested that the House Intelligence Chairman testifies in the impeachment inquiry, noting that Schiff misled the public about his team’s interaction with the person who filed a complaint against Trump.

Republican lawmakers have previously raised concerns about the lack of transparency and an apparent absence of due process, and the secrecy surrounding the depositions in the House Democrat-run probe over Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine.

In an interview on The Ingraham Angle late last month, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)  accused Schiff of running a “Soviet-style” impeachment inquiry against Trump, stating that Schiff was unnecessarily holding meetings “behind closed doors.”

The House Minority Whip hit out at Schiff for holding closed-door proceedings that did not involve classified information. He was referring to a hearing held last month in the House Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the U.S. Capitol. The SCIF is meant for classified briefs.

Scalise added that the inquiry is breaking with the due-process protections outlined in the constitution that allow both sides to call witnesses and for a U.S. President to have legal counsel to cross-examine the witnesses, as was the case for former President Richard Nixon.

Trump described the process on Nov. 11 as “such a farce.”

“Schiff is giving Republicans NO WITNESSES, NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS! It is a totally one-sided Witch Hunt. This can’t be making the Democrats look good,” he added.

Trump’s demands for Schiff to testify also come after House Democrats on Oct. 21 voted to set aside a Republican motion to censure Schiff “for conduct that misleads the American people.” It described Schiff’s version of the call transcript between Trump and Zelensky as an “egregiously false and fabricated retelling had no relationship to the call itself.”

Schiff later conceded his version of the call transcript was a “fable.”

Trump tweeted on Nov. 11: “Just like Schiff fabricated my phone call, he will fabricate the transcripts that he is making and releasing!

Meanwhile, Trump demanded the Ukraine whistleblower testify in the impeachment probe, a request which has since been dismissed by Schiff as both “redundant and unnecessary” as the inquiry, according to Schiff, has gathered enough evidence.

”Where is the Whistleblower who gave so much false information? Must testify along with Schiff and others!” he wrote on Twitter.

Schiff wrote in a letter to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Intelligence committee, that testimony from the whistleblower isn’t relevant now.

“The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence—from witnesses and documents, including the President’s own words in his July 25 call record—that not only confirms but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblower’s complaint,” Schiff wrote. “The whistleblower’s testimony is, therefore, redundant and unnecessary.”

Schiff then added that “the individual’s appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk” after calls to unmask the anonymous person.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.