On Friday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff warned GOP lawmakers that the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump will not abet “sham” investigations into prominent Democrats, reports The Hill.
In a statement, Schiff said that his committee’s inquiry will “not serve” as “a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the president pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal benefit,” vowing to not allow Trump to “retaliate” against the White House whistleblower.
Schiff made the remarks in response to House Republican’s witness demands. Earlier this week, the GOP unveiled a list of witnesses that they want to summon to testify before the United States Congress in the impeachment probe.
The list includes former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, the anonymous intelligence community official who blew the whistle on Trump’s allegedly inappropriate contacts with Ukraine, and former Fusion GPS official Nellie Ohr, who Republicans claim helped produce the infamous Steele dossier during the 2016 presidential election.
Republicans also requested to hear from Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee staffer; former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine, David Hale; and the top Russia adviser on the National Security Council, Tim Morrison.
The GOP reportedly wanted Chalupa to testify because they wanted the impeachment inquiry to be focused on alleged improprieties during the 2016 presidential election. Further, they summoned Hunter Biden in order to make the investigation about alleged corruption in the Biden family.
As The Hill notes, Republicans have long claimed — echoing the commander-in-chief — that Biden used the power of the vice president’s office to help his son make money in Ukraine, before pressuring the country’s government to fire a prosecutor allegedly poised to investigate his family.
According to Schiff, his committee will evaluate Republican witness requests and “give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry, as voted on by the House.”
The top Democrat also asserted that the investigation is primarily meant to “determine whether the President of the United States engaged in misconduct that warrants impeachment by the House.”
Some Republicans have also argued that Schiff should testify. In a formal letter, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California requested that the Democrat testifies behind closed doors. According to Nunes, either Schiff or his staffers held meetings with the whistleblower without notifying GOP lawmakers.
President Trump: "Adam Schiff is a corrupt politician that is not giving us due process." pic.twitter.com/E07FAHcilU— The Hill (@thehill) November 9, 2019
According to the whistleblower, Trump withheld military aid in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. The president did so, according to the anonymous official, in order to damage Biden’s presidential bid — the former vice president is one of the Democratic frontrunners in the 2020 presidential election.