Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has accused Republicans of a “cover up” to protect President Donald Trump — but the shoe is on the other foot, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX).
The Republican lawmaker said that Schiff is “trying to bury” damaging testimony from Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who received the notorious Ukraine “whistleblower” complaint, because it points to coordination between Schiff’s office and the anonymous whistleblower.
“It’s the one transcript out of 18 that hasn’t been released. It’s a 179-page transcript, and you can bet that if that transcript was helpful to Adam Schiff and the Democrats and harmful to President Trump, everyone would have seen it by now,” Ratcliffe told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo during an appearance on Sunday Morning Futures.
Ratcliffe: Schiff covering up whistleblower contact
After playing a prominent role pushing the Russia collusion hoax, Schiff is leading the charge against Trump in the House and Senate phases of the impeachment. Republicans say that Schiff can’t be trusted, and that he must explain contacts between his office and the “whistleblower” whose complaint sparked the impeachment.
Schiff lied about those contacts on national television, but that’s not all he did, Ratcliffe told Fox. The Democrat has tried to “bury” the transcript of an October briefing with Atkinson because it contains damaging revelations about Schiff and the anonymous so-called “whistleblower.”
Ratcliffe said that the American people already know that Schiff lied about his contacts with the “whistleblower,” but that the transcript reveals that the “whistleblower” also lied to the Inspector General. The “whistleblower” has long since dropped out of the headlines after playing his role getting the impeachment ball rolling, but he has been described as a CIA analyst with ties to Joe Biden. Ratcliffe explained:
What they don’t know and what’s in that transcript is that the whistleblower wasn’t truthful about his contacts with Adam Schiff…and when we found that out and tried to get into the details of that, Adam Schiff, who was in charge of this investigation, shut it down, and now he’s trying to bury that transcript.
Schiff continues coup after Russia lies
Republicans have long threatened to summon Schiff and the whistleblower, as well as Hunter Biden, to testify before settling on a strategy to move through Trump’s trial as quickly as possible. Democrats have accused Republicans of a “cover up,” but Republicans fire back that the “cover up” talk is an admission that Democrats impeached Trump based on an incomplete record — and that it is Democrats who are involved in a cover up of corruption involving the Bidens, or even a coup, as Ratcliffe suggests.
Atkinson’s testimony was never entered into the impeachment record, the Washington Times reports. Schiff’s staff said that he cannot unilaterally declassify it.
Trump’s team is interested in Biden’s role in pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who had investigated a gas company where Hunter worked while his father was a diplomat to Ukraine. Democrats argue that Trump tried to “cheat” in the 2020 election and then obstruct Congress, but Republicans fire back that Democrats have wanted to remove Trump from power from day one of his administration and that Trump had legitimate reasons to probe the former vice president and his son.
According to Republicans, impeachment is simply the Democrats’ latest attempt, after the Russia collusion hoax fell apart, to oust Trump from office. Ratcliffe and Bartiromo made note of Schiff’s claims that Russia collusion was “in plain sight,” as well as his false claim that FISA spying on a member of Trump’s 2016 campaign was “lawful and appropriate”; the DOJ admitted this week that at least two of the FISA applications lacked probable cause, further undercutting Schiff’s claim after a DOJ report last year found that the salacious Russia dossier played a central role.
Will whistleblower, Schiff testify?
With a vote on witnesses looming this week, there’s a faint possibility that the mostly predictable trial will explode into a protracted, partisan fight, with dueling witness accounts about Trump’s desire to have Ukraine investigate the Bidens. Democrats have capitalized on an 11th-hour leak to the New York Times of an upcoming book by John Bolton, Trump’s former National Security adviser, to push for testimony from Bolton and other witnesses.
It remains unclear if the president’s team will try to compel Schiff or the whistleblower, but a witness trade — Bolton for Biden — is being chattered about. But Schiff continues to insist that testimony from Hunter Biden is irrelevant and that only the witnesses Democrats want should be called.