‘The reason it hasn’t been released is it’s not helpful to Adam Schiff…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) House Democrats may have concealed the testimony of a major witness, according to President Donald Trump’s legal team.
Led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Democrats are refusing to disclose the testimony of the intelligence community’s inspector general,Michael Atkinson, who has firsthand knowledge of the anonymous Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint, according to the Washington Times.
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, who was present during Atkinson’s secretive, closed-door testimony during the House’s impeachment inquiry, said the Democrats do not want to share the information provided by Atkinson because it could hurt Schiff’s case against the president.
“The reason it hasn’t been released is it’s not helpful to Adam Schiff. It is not helpful to the whistleblower,” Ratcliffe said. “It raises credibility issues about both of them.”
Atkinson’s testimony could be “potentially exculpatory” for the president, according to the Washington Times, but Schiff has classified the information as potentially sensitive intelligence that must remain classified.
“It addresses the issue about contacts between Schiff, his staff and the whistleblower, and what the inspector general knows about that,” Ratcliffe said of Atkinson’s testimony. “So, those are material facts that should be talked about, but Adam Schiff has prevented that.”
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, agreed with Ratcliffe that the Senate should be allowed to weigh the evidence provided by Atkinson if the Democrats are going to push for additional witness testimony and evidence.
“We should be allowed to take a look at that, but again they have stated numerous times in their brief they had overwhelming evidence—it would be so clear to everyone—and I haven’t seen that yet,” she said.
Schiff has deliberately withheld and misconstrued information throughout the impeachment process. Just last week, Politico reported that Schiff had mischaracterized “evidence” provided by Lev Parnas, an indicted former business associate of Rudy Giuliani’s, in order to include Parnas’s testimony in the Senate’s trial.
Schiff has also lied about his past connection to the anonymous whistleblower, and has stonewalled the Republicans’ efforts to identify the whistleblower.