Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of coaching the whistle-blower to get the details of his call with the Ukrainian president wrong and again demands the identity of the person to be revealed.
The president questioned if it was House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who coached the whistle-blower, an accusation that follows a report the whistle-blower reached out to the panel before formally filing a complain.
‘Adam Schiff now doesn’t seem to want the Whistleblower to testify. NO! Must testify to explain why he got my Ukraine conversation sooo wrong, not even close. Did Schiff tell him to do that? We must determine the Whistleblower’s identity to determine WHY this was done to the USA,’ Trump tweeted.
Donald Trump accused Democrats of coaching the whistle-blower to get the details of his call with the Ukrainian president wrong
Trump has targeted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff in his battle against impeachment
Schiff suggested this weekend that House investigators don’t need to hear from the whistle-blower.
‘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,’ Schiff said on Sunday on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation.’
He echoed fears among Democrats about the person’s identity being revealed.
‘Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,’ he said.
Also on Monday, Trump complained about Schiff’s parody of his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president – a move by the chief Democratic investigator the president has repeatedly used to try and discredit the probe into his presidency.
‘Democrat’s game was foiled when we caught Schiff fraudulently making up my Ukraine conversation, when I released the exact conversation Transcript, and when Ukrainian President and the Foreign Minister said there was NO PRESSURE, very normal talk! A total Impeachment Scam!,’ Trump tweeted. .
Trump was touting a New York Times report that the whistle-blower reached out to staff on the House Intelligence Committee before filing an official complaint about the contents of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president. The House aide followed the committee’s procedures and recommended the whistle-blower get a lawyer.
There has been no suggestion of wrong-doing but the report explained how Schiff knew to press the administration for the whistle-blower’s report.
Trump has used the story to complain of collaboration and conspiracy against him.
The president has long maintained his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky was ‘perfect’ as he fights allegations that he leveraged nearly $400 million in aid in order to secure a promise from Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
He’s also pushed for the whistle-blower’s identity to be made public. The person is known to be a male and a CIA official who was detailed to the White House but is now back at the agency.
Trump’s tweets come as Fiona Hill, a former top National Security Council expert on Russia, arrived on Capitol Hill to testify before lawmakers conducting the impeachment inquiry.
Hill is expected to testify how the Trump administration’s relationship with the Ukraine was affected by Rudy Giuliani and the push for a probe into Joe Biden.
Giuliani has been one of the biggest promoters of an unproven theory that Biden, as vice president, pushed the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor to benefit a gas company where his son sat on the board.
Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, who was a part of the conversations about Trump and Zelensky, will testify on Thursday.
Sonland was scheduled to testify last week but Trump blocked him from doing so. He was appearing voluntarily but, after the president told him not to show up, Democrats issued a subpoena.
The Democrats’ inquiry is moving at a steady pace.
Former Ambassador the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified last week as did Kurt Volker, a former envoy to Ukraine.
Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said over the weekend the whistle-blower need not testify as Democrats want to protect his identity
Subpoenas or document requests have gone out to the White House, the Defense Department, the White House Office of Management and Budget, Vice President Mike Pence, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two Giuliani associates.
The deadlines for most of those requests are this coming week.
The House returns to Washington D.C. Tuesday after a two-week break but the committees leading the impeachment charge – Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight – have been holding hearings while the rest of Congress has been back in their districts.