Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) observed Friday that Democrats are withholding transcripts from closed-door hearings in the impeachment inquiry that ought to be used to question witnesses in the public hearings.
Meadows was responding to efforts by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to raise a point of order at the start of the second public hearing, featuring former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Jordan tried to point out that there were still four transcripts that had not been released. (One of them in particular, the transcript of the deposition of former National Security Council staffer Tim Morrison, is thought to be quite exculpatory.) But Schiff refused to entertain his point of order, having just shut down Rep. Elaine Stefanik for raising one as well.
.@Jim_Jordan made an important point earlier: Democrats still haven’t released transcripts from multiple other private interviews. And the rules Democrats passed prevent us from discussing those testimonies.
Dems are holding hearings while simultaneously barring important info.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 15, 2019
The other transcripts are important because they are useful in questioning witnesses in public. Witnesses can be asked to corroborate their own past statements, for example, or they can be asked to respond to statements by other witnesses that might contradict (or confirm) their own.
But none of that information is available to the public, creating the impression that Schiff is withholding possibly exculpatory evidence for as long as he can while trying to turn public opinion against the president.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.