The first open House Intelligence Committee hearings in the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump began with Republican lawmakers requesting a chance to question the whistleblower who filed the complaint that led to the impeachment inquiry.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) when they would get a chance to question the whistleblower, pointing out that Schiff and members of his staff communicated with the whistleblower before the individual filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.
“Of the 435 members of Congress, you are the only member who knows who that individual is. And your staff is the only staff of any member of Congress who has had a chance to talk with that individual. We like that opportunity. When might that happen in this proceeding today?”
Schiff flatly denied Jordan’s claim, “First, as the gentleman knows, that’s a false statement: I do not know the identity of the whistleblower.”
Watch the exchange below:
Jordan: Of the 435 members of Congress, you are the only member who knows [who the whistleblower is].— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 13, 2019
Schiff: First, as the gentleman knows, that's a false statement: I do not know the identity of the whistleblower.pic.twitter.com/v4b9g5Dexy
Schiff has repeatedly denied that he knows the identity of the whistleblower, although The Washington Post’s fact-checker called his comments that he did not communicate with the whistleblower “flat-out false,” as IJR has previously reported.
During a September 17 interview on MSNBC, Schiff said, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” The California congressman later claimed he wasn’t sure that the whistleblower who contacted his office was the same individual who filed the complaint.
But, the Post’s fact-checker hit Schiff with four Pinocchios, saying, “The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity.”
Republican lawmakers called out Schiff on Twitter for repeating his claim during the hearings.
Reminder: the Chairman was caught misleading a reporter about communication with the whistleblower, barely four weeks ago https://t.co/qR6grFvXl5— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 13, 2019
In response to @Jim_Jordan, Adam Schiff claims he doesn't know the identity of the whistleblower. If he doesn't know their identity, how will he prevent them from being named?— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) November 13, 2019
The House Republican Conference’s Twitter account shared the Times’ story that said Schiff’s office communicated with the whistleblower prior to the complaint