Schiff Suddenly Backpedals on Whistleblower, Says He Might Not Need To Testify


The Trump “impeachment inquiry” is in full swing, and we now know definitively why the Democrats decided against voting for an actual impeachment inquiry: It might have booted the kangaroos out of the courtroom.

Instead, the only person booted out of the hearings, run by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, was Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, presumably because, as a congressman who’s not a member of the Intelligence Committee, he tried to crash the testimony of former national security official Fiona Hill.

Of course, there’s no ability for Republicans to cross-examine witnesses or to subpoena their own, as there would be in an actual impeachment inquiry, which is kind of the point.

“This process is a joke, and the consequences are huge,” New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin told The Associated Press.

Well, the good news is that the joke could be one punchline shorter, since an anticipated witness may not need to testify, according to Schiff.

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The bad news is that the witness is, um, the whistleblower who started this whole thing.

You know, the one who allegedly had ties to Joe Biden. And the one who had contact with Schiff’s aides before he filed the complaint. That whistleblower.

We can now just rely on the transcript of the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that sparked the Democrats’ impeachment efforts. You know, the transcript Democrats claimed we couldn’t trust.

In an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Schiff said that because there is a second whistleblower, a call transcript and a need to protect the whistleblower’s anonymous status, the Intelligence Committee may not call the original whistleblower after all.

Do you think the whistleblower needs to testify?

“Well, our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,” Schiff said.

“Indeed, now there’s more than one whistleblower, that they are protected. And given that we already have the call record, we don’t need the whistleblower who wasn’t on the call to tell us what took place during the call. We have the best evidence of that.

“We do want to make sure that we identify other evidence that is pertinent to the withholding of the military support, the effort to cover this up by hiding this in a classified computer system. We want to make sure that we uncover the full details about the conditionality of either the military aid or that meeting with Ukraine’s president,” he continued.

“It may not be necessary to take steps that might reveal the whistleblower’s identity to do that. And we’re going to make sure we protect that whistleblower.”

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Host Margaret Brennan didn’t push Schiff on the fact that he had previously said the whistleblower would testify.

As The Daily Caller reported, Schiff had said the whistleblower would be testifying “very soon” back in September.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire was in the process of clearing the whistleblower to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“And, as Director Maguire promised during the hearing, that whistleblower will be allowed to come in and come in without a ‘minder’ from the Justice Department or from the White House to tell the whistleblower what they can and cannot say,” Schiff said.

“We will get the unfiltered testimony of that whistleblower.”

Haha, j/k, though. We don’t need the whistleblower after all.

This supposedly has nothing to do with the fact Schiff’s people had contact with the whistleblower or that the whistleblower probably had ties to Biden and perhaps even traveled to Ukraine with him while Biden was vice president. This has nothing to do with the collapse of the original story. It’s all about protecting the whistleblower.

The aforementioned Rep. Zeldin may have said it best when he told “This Week,” according to Politico, that “what Adam Schiff wants is to get United States of America drunk on his favorite cocktail.”

“There’s three ingredients,” Zeldin said. “One is cherry-picking leaks, second is withholding facts, and three is just outright lying.”

Expect to see plenty of those cocktails served over the next few months. Then, if all works as planned, the case gets sent to the Senate, which will be forced to act as our country’s designated driver.

If “Profiles in Courage” ever gets a 21st-century update by Joe Kennedy III, my guess is that even with a strong Democratic bias, Schiff won’t be making it in there.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture