House Republicans want to call Hunter Biden and the "whistleblower" as witnesses in the Democratic impeachment inquiry, but House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is having none of it.
The whistleblower is purported to be a career CIA analyst who worked on the National Security Council during the Obama administration and the initial months of the Trump administration; he now purportedly works on the National Intelligence Council.
Number one on the list is Hunter Biden.
Public testimony starting with career public servants could raise political risks for Trump as he seeks to delegitimize the impeachment process while preserving his re-election prospects in 2020.
Joe Biden is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination to oppose Trump's bid for re-election next year.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the president engaged in nothing short of a "cover-up" as Democrats turned their laser focus on the Ukraine matter as central to their impeachment probe. "So if they don't call the whistleblower in the House, this thing is dead on arrival in the Senate".
House Intelligence Committee Member Will Hurd (R-TX) broke from fellow Republicans and said the Ukrainian whistleblower's identity should be protected during a Sunday morning interview with Fox News's Chris Wallace.
A review of more than 2600 pages of transcripts released this week from eight witnesses who have testified in the House impeachment inquiry over the past six weeks shows how controversy over Mr Trump's Ukraine policy had been brewing inside the United States government for months. "A disgrace. And the whistleblower, because of that, should be revealed". John Kennedy of Louisiana, said the president's behavior may have crossed the line. Asked if over the line means impeachable, Kennedy replied: "Yeah, probably". No, it is much stronger than that.
In a letter obtained by CNN, Schiff goes further than he did earlier in the day when he said in a statement that his committee would evaluate the witness requests and "give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry, as voted on by the House". "The president is going to get that", Swalwell said.
The comments by Schiff, one of the Democrats in charge of the inquiry, are the clearest yet that the whistleblower won't testify in the probe, a dramatic shift since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry in September when the individual's testimony was viewed as paramount. "I think this is a bunch of B.S".
Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 17, 2019.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) also said the inquiry would be "sort of a sham" without Biden and the whistleblower's evidence. He is scheduled to testify Wednesday along with State Department official George Kent.
On Wednesday, Americans will hear from Bill Taylor, the US special envoy to Ukraine; and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs; on Friday, they will hear from Marie Yovanovitch, the former USA ambassador to Ukraine.