House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter to ranking member Nunes that stopped any effort to derail the impeachment hearings.
The full text of Schiff’s letter to Nunes as provided to PoliticusUSA:
At approximately 11:20 a.m. today, the Majority provided notice to you and the Members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the “Committee”) that the Committee will hold on November 13 at 10:00 a.m. the first in a series of open hearings as part of the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry. H. Res. 660 (the “Resolution”) affords the Minority the opportunity to identify and request witnesses to testify during the open hearings. Pursuant to the Resolution, the Minority should submit such a witness request in writing within 72 hours of the provision of such notice, which is Saturday, November 8, at 11:20 a.m.
The Majority does not intend to request public testimony from every witness who previously testified in depositions or interviews as part of the impeachment inquiry. If the Minority wishes for any of those witnesses to testify during the open hearings, please include them in your request for witnesses.
As directed by the Resolution, the Minority’s witness request must be submitted in writing, and must be accompanied by a detailed written justification of the relevance to the inquiry of the testimony of each requested witness. To guide relevance, the report submitted by the Committee on Rules to accompany the Resolution sets forth the inquiry’s parameters:
1. Did the President request that a foreign leader and government initiate investigations to benefit the President’s personal political interests in the United States, including an investigation related to the President’s political rival and potential opponent in the 2020 U.S. presidential election?
2. Did the President – directly or through agents – seek to use the power of the Office of the President and other instruments of the federal government in other ways to apply pressure on the head of state and government of Ukraine to advance the President’s personal political interests, including by leveraging an Oval Office meeting desired by the President of Ukraine or by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine?
3. Did the President and his Administration seek to obstruct, suppress or cover up information to conceal from the Congress and the American people evidence about the President’s actions and conduct?
The Committee looks forward to receiving by November 9, within the Resolution’s stipulated deadline, the Minority’s written request for witnesses, and is prepared to consult on proposed witnesses to evaluate their relevance to the inquiry’s scope.
Republicans aren’t going to be allowed to hijack the impeachment hearings by inviting witnesses who are going to push absurd or unrelated conspiracy theories. Chairman Schiff and the Democrats have clearly learned their lesson from the Russia investigation hearings, and not giving Republicans any opening to make a mockery out of the impeachment investigation.
House Democrats have the right person leading these hearings, as Rep. Schiff has been focused, clear, and not given Republicans any room to take attention away from the president’s conduct toward Ukraine that caused the impeachment crisis.
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