Was Trump call with Ukraine 'perfect'? GOP has many answers

Jim Jordan wearing a suit and tie Rep. Jim Jordan speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbour Maryland

The Republican witness requests primarily pertain to the conspiracy theory that Ukraine hacked Democratic National Committee servers in 2016 - a baseless claim that has been disputed by the American intelligence community - and to the allegation that Joe Biden pushed for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor general who was investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian gas firm with ties to Hunter Biden.

The conservative news site obtained a letter written by Rep. Devin Nunes in which the House Intelligence Committee's Ranking Member listed the names of GOP's proposed witnesses and lambasting the impeachment process against President Donald Trump.

In asking for the whistleblower, Nunes said that Trump "should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers".

He also has said there is no need to hear from the whistleblower because other witnesses broadly have substantiated the complaint. Republicans have complained that the committees conducting the impeachment inquiry have held closed-door hearings with witnesses in a secure room, arguing that it kept the proceedings from public view. House Republicans sent Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) a list of witnesses they want to testify in the impeachment inquiry, including former vice president Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower who filed the initial complaint against President Trump.

"Whistleblowers can not be stopped", said Frederic Whitehurst, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation scientist who exposed transgressions in the Federal Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

The whistleblower alleged that Trump sought investigations into the Bidens in return for granting Zelenskiy an Oval Office visit and allowing the delivery of almost $400 million in security aid needed by Ukraine to defend against Russia-backed separatists.

Republicans also called several officials who have already testified behind closed doors to deliver public testimony, including Tim Morrison, the administration's outgoing Russian Federation expert, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council's top Ukraine specialist, and Kurt Volker, the former United States special representative to Ukraine. "President Trump is not only prohibited from retaliating against the whistleblower, he has the duty [original emphasis] to protect the whistleblower".

House investigators will start questioning witnesses in open sessions next week.

"What i can tell you about the trump Ukraine policy is that it was incoherent, it depends on who you talk to".

"They're anxious. They're really, really anxious about where this is going", said Sen. "Instead, they'd feel they have to go to the press. which could come with criminal charges".

Nunes in the first two years of Trump's administration was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

"And I know as the facts continue to come out, people will see that the President did nothing wrong", said Pence.

The list of potential witnesses also includes Ukrainian American consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Alexandra Chalupa and Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr.

Kate Irby is based in Washington, D.C. and reports on issues important to McClatchy's California newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee.



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