Republican Ratcliffe: Moving Impeachment Inquiry to Intel Committee Allows 'Closed Doors,' No Transparency

Susan Jones | October 7, 2019 | 6:02am EDT
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Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) hears testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on July 24, 2019. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

( - "We want to be fair as we go forward" with the impeachment inquiry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Oct. 2. "And we couldn't be better served than by the leadership of our chairman of the intelligence committee, Adam Schiff," she said.

No, quite the contrary, say a number of Republicans who strongly oppose Schiff's leadership of an impeachment inquiry focused on a man he despises.

"In the 240-plus years of our history, those rare times where we have had impeachment process, it's always gone through the House Judiciary Committee, because the House Judiciary Committee is the committee of jurisdiction over the Constitution and over impeachment," Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.

"It's not the intelligence committee," Ratcliffe said.

He gave two reasons why Pelosi turned to Schiff instead of House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler:

One, I think Nancy Pelosi has so little confidence, apparently, in Jerry Nadler to run this the way that she wants it. The other reason is, by moving it to the Intelligence Committee, she can accomplish what they did this week.

Adam Schiff can say, gosh, this all has to be done behind closed doors. Unlike any other impeachment in our country, which is public, he's conducting this behind closed doors, making up the rules as it goes, as he wants them, as it suits his purpose.

And so you have a jurisdictional problem. You have a problem with transparency. And then, worst of all, the guy who is in charge of running the investigation is a central witness in the investigation, something that we don't allow anywhere in this country and never have.

I mean, Third World countries are shocked at the kangaroo court, banana republic, make-it-up-as-you-go impeachment inquiry that the Democrats are running in this country.

"The bottom line is, Adam Schiff is a material fact witness in the investigation. He shouldn't be running the investigation," Ratcliffe added.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), appearing on ABC's "This Week," said Schiff is selectively releasing text messages that give a distorted view of what was said in last week's closed hearings with Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker (Thursday) and intelligence community Inspector-General Michael Atkinson (Friday):

One of those text messages, read on-air by host George Stephanopoulos, appears to show that a White House meeting between Trump and the new Ukraine president would depend on the Ukrainians getting "to the bottom of what happened in 2016."

But Jordan said a full transcript of last week's closed door hearing with Ambassador Volker "told us exactly the opposite."


He (Volker) said there was no quid pro quo and no linkage to any investigation and the security assistance money.

"But this is Adam Schiff's partisan and unfair process that he's going through, releasing selective texts. Why doesn't he release the whole transcript?...Why won't he do it? The president released the call, unprecedented, he released a call with a foreign leader. That hasn't been done very often, maybe not before.

But why won't Adam Schiff do the same thing with the -- there were 67 pages of text messages. Why just a few handful, selected, highlighted by the Democrats, the same Democrat staff who by the way met with the whistle-blower before he filed the complaint and Adam Schiff wouldn't tell us that. The same Adam Schiff who did the false statement at the start of the hearing a week ago.

The same Adam Schiff who met with Michael Cohen, his staff met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours before Michael Cohen testified. Why won't -- this is -- and I think Americans see this.

Jordan said Volker was "very clear" in his testimony before the House intelligence committee:

"And this is why it's so wrong of what Chairman Schiff is doing by not releasing the full transcript and giving you in the media the full context and, more importantly, the American people the full context, because he said throughout that process there was never any quid pro quo."

Ratcliffe told "Fox News Sunday" that he would "love to" explain what happened in last week's closed hearings, but he can't:

The reason that I can't is because the person in charge of this investigation, Adam Schiff, has made the decision that he doesn't want those transcripts to be out there publicly. He made that decision because those transcripts aren't good for the Democrats and for the narrative.

What I can tell you is that I promise you that the inspector-general's testimony on (last) Friday will shock you with respect to his investigation into the contacts between Adam Schiff and his staff on the Intelligence Committee and the whistle-blower.

And when you see the transcript, and you see what investigation was performed, I think any fair person is going to agree with me that Adam Schiff is a material witness. His staff are material witnesses. And the only way we can get good answers is to put them under oath about the type of contact, the extent of which they had with the whistle-blower.

The bottom line is, Adam Schiff is a material fact witness in the investigation. He shouldn't be running the investigation.


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