Republicans say they’ve been told to submit a list of witnesses they’d like to call in the impeachment inquiry by Saturday — and one of President Donald Trump’s top defenders says at the top of the list will be the whistleblower who first sounded the alarm about the president’s posture toward Ukraine.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower but said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the leader of the impeachment inquiry, should call the person to testify.
“We’ll see if he gives us any of our witnesses,” Jordan told reporters on Thursday, declining to identify others that GOP lawmakers intend to request.
Republicans, including Trump, have spent weeks assailing the whistleblower as politically biased, even though the person’s basic account of Trump’s handling of Ukraine has been corroborated — and expanded upon — by more than a dozen high-level witnesses with more direct knowledge of the episode.
Democrats have warned that Republicans’ fixation on the whistleblower is both extraneous — since his account has largely been repeatedly affirmed — and dangerous, since outing the person’s identity could expose him to security risks. Trump has blasted the whistleblower repeatedly and called for him to be outed.
Jordan described the whistleblower as “the name that only Adam Schiff knows,” though the person’s attorney has argued that no lawmakers know the whistleblower’s identity, other than a small circle of intelligence community officials who first received his complaint.
Jordan also sidestepped questions about whether he’s about to supplant Rep. Devin Nunes as the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee when impeachment hearings move into the public domain next week — a move that some Republicans have advocated given Jordan’s reputation as a dogged questioner and defender of Trump.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy floated the possibility of moving Jordan to the Intelligence Committee this week.
“It’s up to the leader. It’s up to Devin,” Jordan said when asked if he wanted to join the panel. “We want to get the truth out and get out of this bunker so the American people can see what’s going on.”
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