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GOP Wants Hunter Biden and Whistleblower Called as Witnesses in Impeachment Inquiry

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GOP Wants Hunter Biden and Whistleblower Called as Witnesses in Impeachment Inquiry

2019-11-11 11:12:26

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Hunter Biden (Image source: Screenshot)

House Republicans on Saturday asked to call their own witnesses when the impeachment inquiry goes public this week. Pushing their own narrative — that former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter were doing something illegal and that the whistleblower was not honest in his report — they are asking to call Hunter Biden and the whistleblower to get the chance to question them. 

The GOP’s purpose for this is very transparent. They’re looking to take the focus off Trump’s crimes and push the possible crimes of Biden and what they hope are the lies of the whistleblower.

But this plan suffers from believability. The conspiracy theory Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani has been pushing regarding the Bidens was proven false long ago. 

Additionally, while the Republicans hype the fact that the whistleblower has no firsthand knowledge of Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that’s at the heart of the inquiry, there have already been witnesses who have testified to the same thing who have firsthand knowledge.

Yet, on Saturday House Republicans sent House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) their list of who they would like to call in the impeachment inquiry, and it includes the whistleblower and Hunter Biden. 

The ball’s in Schiff’s court, however, and he’s not expected to call many witnesses from the GOP list. That, of course, will be something the Republicans will use as evidence that this is a partisan inquiry.

 “We expect that you will call each of the witnesses listed above to ensure that the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry’ treats the president with fairness, as promised by [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)],” wrote the Intelligence Committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). 

“Your failure to fulfill Minority witness requests shall constitute evidence of your denial of fundamental fairness and due process.”

Also to distract from the transcript where Trump can clearly be seen doing what he has been accused of, he announced he wants to release the transcript of an earlier call he had with Zelensky when he called to congratulate him on winning the Ukrainian presidential election. 

“We have another transcript coming up, which is very important,” Trump said before heading to a college football game in Alabama. “They asked for it, and I will gladly give it. There has never been a president who has been so transparent.”

This is seen as another attempt to take the focus off Trump asking Zelensky in the July 25 call to conduct investigations of the Bidens as well as whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S presidential election for the purpose of helping former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign. 

“This inquiry is not, and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undetake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the president pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or to facilitate the president’s effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm,” said Schiff.

Along with questioning Hunter Biden about his work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, House Republicans would also like to call his business partner Devon Archer, who also served on the Burisma board, as a witness. 

Nunes wrote in the request that both Biden and Archer’s time with Burisma “can assist the American public in understanding the nature and extent of Ukraine’s pervasive corruption, information that bears directly on President Trump’s longstanding and deeply-held skepticism of the country.”

To push the theory that Ukraine was collecting dirt on Trump in 2016 to help Clinton, the GOP has also asked to hear from Nellie Ohr, a researcher for Fusion GPS, the group that commissioned the Steele dossier that linked Trump and Russia with salacious claims. They also want to call Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian American who worked with the Democratic National Commitee. 

Nunes would like to see the whistleblower testify, as the president “should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers.”

Trump has his own list he would like to see as witnesses, tweeting, “Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff’s lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the whistleblower (who miracioulously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd whistleblower (who also disappeared), and the I.G., be part of the list.” 

Schiff, when he assumably rejects these witnesses, is expected to reflect back on the guidelines he set for the public hearings beginning this week. These guidelines follow these three questions:

“Did Trump request a foreign government conduct investigations that would benefit the president’s personal political interests? 

“Did Trump, or his aides, use the power of the presidency to apply pressure on Ukraine?

“Did the Trump administration attempt to obstruct justice by concealing evidence of the president’s actions related to Ukraine?” 

House Republicans can appeal to the Intelligence Committee if Schiff rejects the requested witnesses, but it’s likely the Democratic majority of the panel will side with Schiff.

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