Rep. Stefanik Has a Great Idea for Republicans' First Witness in Impeachment Inquiry

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Posted: Nov 06, 2019 9:30 AM
Rep. Stefanik Has a Great Idea for Republicans' First Witness in Impeachment Inquiry

Source: AP Photo/Mike Groll

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was one of the first people to call out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff at the public hearing where he embellished parts of the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky in July. Schiff made it sound like Trump was guilty of quid pro quo, and Stefanik sarcastically answered him once she had a turn to read parts of the transcript.

"On page one - and I'm not going to improvise for parody purposes, like the chairman of this committee did," Stefanik said with the whistleblower complaint in front of her. "I'm going to quote it directly."

A New York Times report last month revealed that Schiff knew of the whistleblower before he or she filed a complaint with the inspector general. With that new context, Stefanik was the first to suggest witnesses for Republicans to question during the impeachment inquiry.

And she has the perfect first witness in mind. Schiff himself. 

"Schiff needs to answer questions under oath," she insisted.

As "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy noted, the chairman will not want to comply with her request to appear because he's "going to look bad" when Stefanik asks the whistleblower about his/her coordination with Schiff. 

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Exactly, Stefanik said. That's why Schiff backtracked from his initial desire to have the whistleblower testify.

The kicker is, she and Republicans have to play by Schiff's rules. Per the impeachment resolution he authored last week, Republicans have to get permission from Democrats to call their witnesses. The measure also allows Schiff to retract parts of testimony transcripts as they're released. 

"This has been a partisan process from the start," she said. One in which Schiff has conducted himself as "counsel to the witnesses, judge and jury."