Nunes, who is the highest-ranking Republican on Schiff’s committee, claims that the top Democrat needs to disclose his own alleged involvement with the White House whistleblower.
In a letter addressed directly to Schiff, Nunes accused the Democrat of wanting to “see the duly-elected president removed from office” at all costs, suggesting that impeachment is a partisan investigation meant to take Trump down without voting him out of office.
“Prior to the start of your public show trial next week, at least one additional closed-door deposition must take place,” Nunes wrote.
“Specifically, I request that you sit for a closed-door deposition before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees.”
Schiff has become one of the central figures in the impeachment probe. Republican lawmakers claim that he is abusing his position on the intelligence committee, and withholding important information pertaining to the inquiry itself. In protest, a group of GOP lawmakers recently stormed one of Schiff’s behind-closed-doors testimonies, demanding more transparency.
Republicans also claim that either Schiff or members of his staff held meetings with the whistleblower. Nunes echoed these concerns in his letter, demanding that Schiff reveal the details of his correspondence with the anonymous intelligence official who blew the whistle, kick-starting the impeachment process.
According to the official, Trump had a quid pro quo agreement with the Ukrainian government. The individual claims that the president demanded that Ukraine investigate one of his main 2020 rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, in order to damage Biden’s presidential bid. According to the whistleblower, in an effort to pressure the Ukrainian authorities, Trump withheld military aid.
Schiff claims to have had no direct contact with the whistleblower, but he has nevertheless faced intense scrutiny for allegedly not immediately informing his Republican colleagues about the fact that one of his aides was meeting with the anonymous official.
The White House excuses keep changing.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 4, 2019
First it was: the House hasn’t held a vote.
Then, a claim of immunity never upheld by a court.
Now they want their lawyers to participate, which is against the rules Republicans wrote.
It doesn’t add up—except as evidence of obstruction. pic.twitter.com/Td5eDbMZOt
Nunes addressed these concerns in his letter, arguing that House intelligence, foreign affairs and oversight committees need to hear from Schiff in a behind-closed-doors setting.
“Given that you have reneged on your public commitment to let the committees interview the whistleblower directly, you are the only individual who can provide clarity as to these conversations,” the California Republican concluded.
It is not just Republicans in Congress that are taking aim at Schiff, Trump is doing the same. For weeks, the president has been relentlessly attacking the top Democrat, going as far as accusing him of treason.