President Trump accused a top House Democrat of preparing to release “manipulated” transcripts of closed-door impeachment testimonies ahead of their expected release in the coming days.
Trump took aim at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who has faced controversy for his handling of the impeachment effort, and called on Republicans to release their own transcripts.
“If Shifty Adam Schiff, who is a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the ‘call,’ is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes,” Trump said in a tweet Sunday evening.
The president suggested that Republicans “should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda. House Republicans must have nothing to do with Shifty’s rendition of those interviews. He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!”
….should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda. House Republicans must have nothing to do with Shifty’s rendition of those interviews. He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2019
Trump’s tweets come hours after Rep. Jackie Speier, a member of the intelligence panel, predicted the full transcripts from the closed-door hearings will become available “within the next five days.” The California Democrat also said, “What we have heard is growing evidence of grounds for impeachment.”
Schiff has taken flak for delivering a parody account of Trump’s summer phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which spurred the House Democrats’ impeachment proceedings, during an opening statement at the only public impeachment hearing so far. Republican Florida Rep Matt Gaetz filed a complaint against Schiff for the stunt.
House Democrats got a resolution passed last week to formalize the impeachment process, setting the stage for public hearings in the coming weeks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings in late September after a whistleblower complaint revealed Trump pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit him politically.
The complaint, filed by a still-anonymous CIA analyst, came in response to the July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed Zelensky to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who did business in Ukraine while his father was vice president, at the same time Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid.
GOP lawmakers railed against Schiff after it was revealed the whistleblower met with a House Intelligence Committee aide seeking guidance before filing the complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general, and Schiff knew about it but did not immediately inform his GOP colleagues. They have also accused him of “coaching” witnesses and orchestrating selective leaks.
To counter what she described as a “partisan effort to impeach the President in secret” in a letter sent to Pelosi on Friday, Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, demanded the transcripts of the impeachment depositions be released “immediately.”
Trump has denied there being a quid pro quo and released notes on the phone call, which he has described as a transcript although it is not a word-for-word record of the conversation. National Security Council Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who listened in to the call, testified last week that the transcript omits important details.
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