House Republicans on Saturday provided a list of witnesses they would like to interview as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but Democrats controlling the probe are expected to reject some of their requests, CNN reports.
In a letter sent Saturday to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Republicans said they wanted to hear testimony from Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and from the anonymous whistleblower whose August complaint sparked the current impeachment inquiry.
Republicans also requested to hear from Kurt Volker, former US special envoy for Ukraine; David Hale, a high-ranking official at the State Department; Tim Morrison, the top Russia adviser on the National Security Council; Nellie Ohr, a former Fusion GPS contractor; and Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee staffer, CNN reports.
As the majority party in the House, Democrats must approve all Republican requests. They are expected to reject the requests for Hunter and the whistleblower to testify, according to CNN. The report did not say whether Democrats are expected to allow the other requested individuals to testify.
Although Schiff had initially said he wanted the whistleblower to speak in the inquiry, he later said that the president’s repeated attempts to undermine the credibility of the whistleblower and the addition of other first-hand testimony to corroborate the whistleblower’s initial complaints makes their testimony unnecessary.
The president has often claimed that he should have access to question the whistleblower. Through a lawyer, the whistleblower earlier this week offered to answer written questions from House Republicans without first going through the Democratic leaders of the probe, though Saturday’s letter indicates that House Republicans are still interested in getting the whistleblower to testify in person.
Although there has been considerable effort to keep the identity of the whistleblower anonymous, that hasn’t stopped people from speculating what their identity is. A Breitbart article claiming to identify the whistleblower was shared by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., in an act that drew significant backlash online earlier this week.
According to CNN, by requesting Chalupa’s testimony, Republicans seem to be poised to focus the inquiry on claims related to the 2016 presidential election, which CNN called unsubstantiated. In requesting Hunter’s testimony, Republicans also appear to be ready to bring up the president’s claims of corruption relating to the Biden family.
Both claims about the 2016 presidential election and claims about Hunter were made on the president’s July call with the Ukrainian president, in which Trump asked for both topics to be investigated by the Ukrainian government in exchange for releasing military aid, the quid pro quo that spurred the whistleblower to make their complaint.