- Democratic Rep. Peter Welch had the perfect response when GOP Rep. Jim Jordan suggested at a Wednesday impeachment hearing that the anonymous whistleblower should testify before Congress.
- “This anonymous so-called whistleblower, with no firsthand knowledge, who’s biased against the president, who worked with Joe Biden, who is the reason we’re all sitting here today, we’ll never get a chance to question that individual,” Jordan said.
- “I’d be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify – President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there,” Welch shot back.
- Two State Department officials have corroborated the claim in the whistleblower’s complaint that Trump used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
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When GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio suggested at a public impeachment hearing on Wednesday that the author of an anonymous whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump should testify before the committee, Democratic Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont had the perfect response ready to go.
Jordan, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, called for the whistleblower to come before the committee and further questioned their credibility.
“This anonymous so-called whistleblower, with no firsthand knowledge, who’s biased against the president, who worked with Joe Biden, who is the reason we’re all sitting here today, we’ll never get a chance to question that individual,” Jordan said.
“We’ll not get to check out his credibility, his motivations, his bias,” Jordan continued, adding, “This is a sad day for this country.”
“I say to my colleague, I’d be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify – President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there,” Welch shot back at Jordan, prompting a chorus of laughter throughout the committee room.
Referring to the whistleblower, Rep. Jim Jordan says Congress will never get a chance to question the one "who started it all."
"I'd be glad to have the person who started it all to come in and testify," Rep. Welch replies. "Pres. Trump is welcome to take a seat right there." pic.twitter.com/QPnu6tETBQ
— ABC News (@ABC) November 13, 2019
In early September, a whistleblower complaint lodged by a member of the intelligence community said that in a series of events culminating in a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump used “the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
The complaint detailed concerns that Trump, days after withholding a nearly $US400 million military-aid package, used the call with Zelensky to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil-and-gas company, from 2014 to 2019. Trump and his allies have, without evidence, accused Biden of using his power as vice president to urge Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma in order to protect Hunter.
The whistleblower’s complaint has been corroborated by the White House’s summary notes of the July 25 call, White House officials themselves, and the sworn testimony of several career diplomatic and national-security officials.
Multiple diplomats have now testified under oath, in both closed-door and public sessions, that the Trump administration explicitly conditioned lifting the military-aid hold on Zelensky publicly announcing investigations into Burisma and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to benefit Hillary Clinton.
At Wednesday’s hearings, Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, a State Department official, added more damning details to the allegations.
Taylor testified that the White House did, in fact, withhold the aid in exchange for investigations and that it was “alarming” because placing a hold on military aid puts “lives at stake.”
- Read more:
- Bill Taylor and George Kent gave devastating testimony in the first Trump impeachment hearing. Here are the biggest takeaways.
- Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan led the Republican attack against Democrats and impeachment witnesses on the first day of public hearings
- A whistleblower, a cover-up, and a quid pro quo: Here’s everything we’ve learned from the impeachment inquiry
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