Updated Nov 9, 2019

Schiff rebuffs call for Bidens, whistleblower to testify in impeachment probe

Rep. Devin Nunes. Pete Marovich / Stringer/Getty Images

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) rebuffed the proposal for Hunter Biden to testify in public impeachment inquiry hearings beginning next week, but says he is reviewing the other witnesses House Republicans requested in a letter on Saturday morning.

Why it matters: Current ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes claims House Democrats have failed to treat Trump with "fairness" in the impeachment process thus far by directing witnesses not to answer questions from Republican committee members and by withholding transcripts.

  • Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky is at the center of a whistleblower complaint and subsequent impeachment inquiry into whether Trump withheld Ukraine's military aid to encourage an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump denies any "quid pro quo."
"This inquiry is not and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or facilitate the President's effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm."
— Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif)

Who Republicans want to testify:

  • Hunter Biden, former board member of Burisma Holdings
  • Devon Archer, former board member of Burisma Holdings
  • Alexandra Chalupa, former Democratic National Committee staffer
  • David Hale, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  • Tim Morrison, former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council
  • Nellie Ohr, former contractor for opposition research firm Fusion GPS
  • Kurt Volker, former U.S. envoy to Ukraine
  • The anonymous whistleblower
  • "All individuals" the whistleblower relied on to draft the complaint

What they're saying: "While in traditional hearings the minority is permitted the ability to call a witness, the resolution only allows minority Members to suggest a witness list and requires them to provide 'a detailed written justification of the relevance of the testimony of each requested witness.' ... Your failure to fulfill Minority witness requests shall constitute evidence of your denial of fundamental fairness and due process."

Read the letter:

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Schiff calls whistleblower testimony "redundant and unnecessary"

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff speaks to the media in the Capitol Visitor Center last Monday. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said in a letter Saturday that the whistleblower's testimony is "redundant and unnecessary" because the impeachment inquiry has gathered evidence that "not only confirms, but far exceeds" information in the original complaint.

Why it matters: Schiff's letter to Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, comes after Nunes complained that Democrats had yet to treat President Trump with "fairness" in the impeachment process, directing witnesses not to answer questions from GOP committee members and withholding transcripts.

Go deeperArrowNov 10, 2019

A viewer's guide to the impeachment hearings

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos by Alex Wong via Getty Images, and Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The next phase of impeachment begins at 10 a.m. today with the first public hearing about President Trump's actions toward Ukraine — so here's a look at the witnesses you're likely to see.

Why it matters: Impeachment so far has been a messy and confusing process, with so many subplots that it's easy to lose track of what really matters: whether Trump held up military aid and a White House meeting with Ukraine's new president in exchange for a public promise to investigate Joe Biden's family.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

Vindman refuses to answer questions amid fear of outing whistleblower

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman faced a round of questioning from House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) over people with whom he discussed the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: After Vindman said he discussed the call — as a part of his position on the National Security Council — with State Department official George Kent and an unnamed intelligence official, the questioning devolved into a squabble over the impeachment inquiry's rules protecting the identity of the whistleblower.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019