Chairman Adam Schiff pledged to interrupt public hearing proceedings for the impeachment inquiry against President Trump if he thought his Republican colleagues were trying to expose the whistleblower's identity. He made good on that pledge on Tuesday, when Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was questioning witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman regarding with whom he discussed President Trump's July 25 phone call with President Zelensky. It was that phone call that launched the Democrats' impeachment inquiry against Trump.
"If I could interject here," Schiff interjected. "We don’t want to use these proceedings...we need to protect the whistleblower...I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistle-blower through these proceedings. If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly."
That's all very interesting, because, just last week, Schiff told the panel that he didn't know the whistleblower's identity. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was happy to point that out.
"You have said you don't know who the whistleblower is - even though no one believes you," Jordan said.
??JIM JORDAN NUKES SCHIFF ON LIVE TV ??— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 19, 2019
Jordan was asking about who was leaking national security information.
Schiff stops him to "protect the whistleblower"
Jordan to Schiff:
"You have said you don't know who the whistleblower is - even though no one believes you."
He wasn't the only one to make that observation.
Obvious but: If to identify who Vindman leaked to is to identify the whistleblower, then not only do they know who the whistleblower is, but Vindman’s testimony doesn’t “confirm” whistleblower but repeat his own claims in circular fashion.— Mollie (@MZHemingway) November 19, 2019
It’s pretty remarkable that both Vindman and Schiff claim to be unaware of the identity of the “whistleblower,” but both know precisely when to cut off questions about him.— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) November 19, 2019
Vindman and Schiff are essentially acknowledging that Vindman was the whistleblower’s source. They’re also both saying that neither of them know who the whistleblower is. So they’re both lying. #ImpeachmentHearings #StopTheSchiffShow— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) November 19, 2019
Lt. Col. Vindman submitted to the chairman's and his counsel's wishes.
"Per the advice of my counsel, I have been advised not to answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community," the witness said.