Democrats Keeping Key Impeachment Witness Transcripts Secret

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

House Democrats are trying to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump based on information they are so far keeping secret from the public.

The Democrat-led House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs pursuing the impeachment inquiry are refusing to release the full transcripts of the testimony provided by the first two witnesses.

Last week, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Intelligence Community (IC) Inspector General (IG) Michael Atkinson provided their testimony behind closed doors.

To the dismay of Republicans, witnesses expected to come to Capitol Hill this week are expected to follow suit.

Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Elijah Cummings have chosen to release bits and pieces of the evidence gathered so far that favors their impeachment effort.

Engel, Schiff, and Cummings are the committee chairmen leading the impeachment investigation.

On Monday, Breitbart News reached out to the House panels for comment on when, if ever, they plan to release the full transcripts, but they refused to answer.

Irked by the Democrats’ refusal to release the full transcripts, Republican lawmakers who witnessed the testimony first hand and pundits have called for the information to be made public.

Via Twitter, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) on Saturday urged Democrats to release Volker’s testimony — which lasted more than eight hours — “so all can read it.”

“He candidly [and] professionally obliterated the bogus charge” by Democrats that President Trump made a quid pro quo offer to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

An intelligence community “whistleblower” claimed Trump pushed Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for foreign aid during a July 25 call.

The allegation triggered the impeachment inquiry.

On Friday, Zeldin stressed on Twitter, “Volker was very clear yesterday in his testimony that it is untrue Trump demanded a quid pro quo of Zelensky that U.S. aid was contingent upon an investigation by Ukraine into the Bidens.”

On Sunday, Zeldin noted:

It’s been[three] days [and Rep Schiff] still hasn’t released the transcript of Amb Volker’s interview, instead just cherry-picking some texts. I don’t have to ask why, [because] I was there [with] both of them [Thursday]. Schiff’s not releasing it [because] it obliterates his fairy tale quid pro charge.

On Monday, Zeldin blasted the media’s lack of interest in the full transcript of the impeachment inquiry’s first witness, choosing instead to rely on the Democrats for details.

He wrote on Twitter:

Fascinating that much of the media has had zero interest in reporting on what was actually said by [Amb.] Volker last Thursday in response to several hours of questioning by [Democrats] & GOP. It’s like they don’t want to hear any truths that don’t support Schiff’s quid pro quo fairy tale.

Last week, the chairmen cherry-picked and mischaracterized a series of texts provided by Volker during his testimony Thursday to fuel their impeachment agenda.

In his prepared remarks, Volker stressed that the texts proved the Trump administration did not pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son.

Nevertheless, the Democrats claimed the texts proved the opposite, and the media reported their allegation as a “smoking gun.”

Based on the Democrats’ claim, Volker provided self-incriminating evidence to House lawmakers.

A text from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, explicitly said there was “no quid pro quo of any kind” between Trump and Zelensky.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, also called on the Democrats to release the full transcript of Volker’s testimony.

Jordan wrote on Twitter Sunday, Volker was “very clear: no quid pro quo of any kind.The American people should see all of Amb. Volker’s testimony. Will [Rep. Schiff] let them?”

He added in a different tweet, “The media is giving legitimate corruption concerns a total pass, misconstruing the facts, and helping further [Rep. Schiff’s] impeachment agenda.”

Echoing his colleagues, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), wrote on Twitter Friday:

Ambassador Volker’s full interview yesterday directly undermined the salacious impeachment narrative Democrats are trying to sell you. They don’t want you to see that. It’s why they’re leaking supplemental documents and text messages out of context.

Like Jordan and Zeldin, Meadows also witnessed Volker’s testimony first hand.

Democrats chose to remain mum after sitting through hours of testimony by Volker.

Meanwhile, their Republicans colleagues — Meadows, Jordan, and Zeldin — told reporters the interview failed to produce the fireworks expected by their rivals.

Last week, Fox News revealed that IG Atkinson testified Friday that he had “no knowledge” of the “whistleblower’s” contacts with the House intelligence panel aide.

The New York Times reported last Wednesday that the CIA officer who blew the whistle alleging a quid pro quo discussed the accusations against Trump with the House panel before the inspector general received the complaint.

According to the law governing whistleblowers in the intelligence community, an official concerned about wrongdoing within the government must go to the IC inspector general before the congressional panels.


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