Written, anonymous answers aren’t good enough.
That was the message from President Donald Trump and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan responding to an offer from attorneys for the “whistleblower” who set off the Democratic drive to impeach the president.
A person who brings a complaint that threatens the administration of a duly elected president of the United States can’t remain cloaked in anonymity, said Jordan, the ranking Republic on the House Oversight Committee, in a statement late Sunday.
“You don’t get to ignite an impeachment effort and never account for your actions and role in orchestrating it,” Jordan said.
On Monday morning, Trump was even more emphatic, particularly slamming the “whistleblower’s” communications with the staff of the House Intelligence Committee under California Rep. Adam Schiff.
“The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff,” Trump wrote.
“He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!”
The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff. He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 4, 2019
The offer for the “whistleblower” to answer written questions was made over the weekend by attorney Mark Zaid to Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
Zaid told CBS News on Sunday that he’d told Nunes his client would be willing to answer questions under oath and under penalty of perjury.
The offer would ostensibly sidestep Schiff and allow Republicans to submit queries directly to the “whistleblower.”
Nunes had not responded by Monday morning, but if the reactions from Trump and Jordan are any indication, the offer won’t be acceptable.
“Written answers will not provide a sufficient opportunity to probe all the relevant facts and cross examine the so-called Whistleblower,” Jordan’s statement declared.
“You don’t get to ignite an impeachment effort and never account for your actions and role in orchestrating it. We have serious questions about this individual’s political bias and partisan motivations and it seems Mark Zaid and Adam Schiff are attempting to hide these facts from public scrutiny.”
.@Jim_Jordan statement on whistleblower offering to answer Republicans written questions — saying it won’t provide a sufficient opportunity to cross examine the person. Says R’s have serious q’s about whistleblowers political bias and partisan motivations pic.twitter.com/TUIA4DxMVt
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) November 4, 2019
There’s a good deal the architects of the impeachment effort are trying to hide from public scrutiny, starting with an official identity of the “whistleblower.”
The individual was already known to have a political bias even before last week’s report by Paul Sperry at RealClearInvestigations that identified him as Eric Ciaramella, a former intelligence analyst with the National Security Council who now works for the CIA.
However, that identification has not been officially confirmed.
Allowing an anonymous “whistleblower” to answer only written questions would prevent natural follow up questioning, or cross-examination, and would keep the American people from learning the whole truth about the latest attempt to destroy the Trump presidency.
And that’s not good enough – not by a long shot.
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