The public impeachment drama took a turn as Nunes pressed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for information on the whistleblower.
The whistleblower filed the complaint on Aug. 12 — which became pubic on Sept. 26 — suggesting President Donald Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, during a July phone call, allegedly withholding aid unless he agreed to do so. This has led to the Democratic-led House’s impeachment probe.
Things got heated during Tuesday’s hearing when Schiff cut off Nunes and said, “We need to protect the whistleblower.”
“I want to make sure there’s no effort to out the whistleblower through these proceedings,” Schiff added. “If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for, and I want to advise the witness accordingly.”
Nunes went on to clarify that Vindman didn’t know the identity of the whistleblower, in which Vindman responded, “I do not know who the whistleblower is.”
Schiff’s injection sparked a lot of criticism from Republican lawmakers and conservatives.
Watch the video below:
🚨🚨 Schiff just shut down Ranking Member @DevinNunes to advise one of his star witnesses on how to answer a question about the whistleblower.— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) November 19, 2019
But Schiff likes to claim he doesn't know who the whistleblower is… So then how would he know Nunes is asking about the whistleblower? pic.twitter.com/QT06yMcRC7
Vindman not wanting to discuss who in the intelligence community he talked to about this whole thing. Schiff cuts off question.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 19, 2019
If Adam Schiff & LTC Vindman don’t know who the “whistleblower” is, how would they know that naming the one person LTC Vindman spoke to in the intelligence community would out the “whistleblower”? 🤔— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 19, 2019
Schiff colluded w/registered Dem CIA leaker ("whistleblower")— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) November 19, 2019
Schiff lied about his staff not speaking to leaker
Schiff still claims to not know who the leaker is, but magically can shut down questions about the leaker before they start
Democrats think you are stupid pic.twitter.com/AHKnJIUPwr
If Adam Schiff and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman don’t know who the whistleblower is, how would they know that naming the person that LTC Vindman spoke to in the intelligence community would out the whistleblower? pic.twitter.com/a3GUvpfE50— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 19, 2019
Schiff also claimed during the hearing that the whistleblower “has the statutory right to end anonymity.”
See his comments below:
After Schiff later repeated that the hearing wouldn’t be used to out the identity of the whistleblower, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, “I don’t see how this is outing the whistleblower.”
“The witness has testified that he does not know who the whistleblower is. You have said, even though no one believes you, you have said you don’t know who the whistleblower is. So how is this outing the whistleblower t find out who this individual is?”
See Jordan’s comments below:
During a hearing last week, Schiff declared that he doesn’t know who the whistleblower is, as IJR previously reported.