President Trump charged Monday that transcripts of testimony in the impeachment probe were “doctored.”
“Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts,” he asserted, referring to Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, who is leading the probe.
“We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer. Republicans should put out their own transcripts! Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!”
The allegation, coming two days before the start of public testimony in the probe, prompted blowback from Democrats and some of the witnesses’ lawyers, who insisted the transcripts were accurate.
“Why does @realDonaldTrump feel compelled to lie about the transcripts, which were all reviewed by the witnesses? Because they are devastating to him,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted. “And who has the documents? The Administration. @POTUS is preventing Congress from seeing documents.”
Lawyers for two of the witnesses, Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, and State Department official Fiona Hill, also countered Trump’s contention.
Robert Luskin, who represents Sondland, a Trump appointee who coordinated the president’s Ukraine policy with attorney Rudy Giuliani, said his client’s testimony had not been altered.
“No reason to believe that the transcript was altered, and the clarification was released in the form that it was submitted,” Luskin e-mailed The Daily Beast on Monday morning.
Lee Wolosky, a lawyer for Hill, also confirmed that her client’s testimony was unaltered: “We have seen nothing to suggest that Dr. Hill’s transcript was altered (beyond routine correction of errata),” she wrote in an e-mail.
House Democrats launched the probe after a whistleblower’s complaint that Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky to announce investigations of Joe Biden, Biden’s son, Hunter, and Ukraine’s supposed in role the 2016 election at a time when Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Kiev.
Trump has said his phone conversation with Zelensky was “perfect” and has denied wrongdoing.
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