Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said Tuesday he will submit a series of questions relating to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) relationship with the intelligence office whistleblower and the House impeachment managers during the next phase of the Senate impeachment trial.
Now that the House Democrat impeachment managers and President Donald Trump’s legal team concluded their opening arguments, Sen. Hawley will submit a series of questions relating to Schiff’s communication with the whistleblower and Hunter Biden’s work with Ukrainian oil company Burisma.
Hawley, a former Missouri attorney general, will ask the House impeachment managers questions relating to the whistleblower:
As Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House Manager Adam Schiff lied about communications with the whistleblower prior to the filing of the whistleblower complaint. Schiff claimed on September 17, 2019, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower,” when the whistleblower had in fact reached out to a committee aide prior to filing a complaint. Why did Manager Schiff lie?
The New York Times reported on October 2, 2019, that Representative Schiff learned the “outlines of a CIA officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power” days before the officer actually filed the complaint.
- What precisely did Manager Schiff learn in advance?
- Did Manager Schiff or any of his staff offer this individual substantive advice on his complaint?
- Did Manager Schiff or any of his staff help the intelligence officer draft the complaint in any way or to any degree?
Hawley also plans to ask the Intelligence Community inspector general if he had any contact with Schiff regarding the whistleblower complaint. Hawley asked:
Since September 9, 2019–the date the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community notified the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that he received a whistleblower’s complaint–please disclose and explain any and all contact that any House Manager or their associates or staff have had with any current or former presidential candidate, or candidate’s campaign staff, in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses?
The Missouri Republican also asked, since Democrats contend that withholding foreign aid to Ukraine is an abuse of power, “did then-President Barack Obama or then-Vice President Joe Biden commit such an abuse when the Obama administration withheld aid from the Ukrainian government in exchange for the removal of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General?”
Hawley will ask if former President Barack Obama or the Obama White House knew that former Vice President Biden sought to remove Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin. He asked:
When he took office, Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, vowed to investigate Burisma. Before Vice President Joe Biden sought to remove Shokin, did the White House Counsel’s Office or the Office of the Vice President legal counsel issue ethics advice approving Mr. Biden’s involvement in matters involving Shokin, despite the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board?
Was President Obama aware that Hunter Biden had been appointed to the board of directors of Burisma when Vice President Joe Biden withheld funds from Ukraine in exchange for the prosecutor’s removal? If so, did the President advise Mr. Biden to recuse himself?
Do you agree with Hunter Biden’s statement in an October 15, 2019, ABC News interview that he would “probably not” have been named a board member if his “last name wasn’t Biden”?
Sen. Hawley will ask the White House counsel:
A significant portion of the House Managers’ theory of abuse of power depends on the idea that President Trump improperly withheld defense aid to Ukraine. Did the White House release the funds in question to Ukraine before they expired at the end of the fiscal year, on September 30, 2019? If so, did the Ukrainian government publicly announce any corruption investigation prior to the release?
What, if any, criminal statutes do the House Managers allege President Trump violated?