Republican Georgia Rep. Doug Collins listed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as the first witness he wanted to question as impeachment moves before the Judiciary Committee.
Collins discussed whom he would like to question as part of the impeachment hearing when the House Judiciary Committee takes over the proceedings from the House Intelligence Committee next week. As ranking member, Collins can request testimony from witnesses, but Chairman Jerrold Nadler will have the final word over who will testifies.
Doug Collins appeared in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” and said his number one request will be that Adam Schiff testifies about his knowledge of the whistle-blower whose complaint laid the foundation for the House’s impeachment investigation.
“The first and foremost, the first person that needs to testify is Adam Schiff. Adam Schiff is the author of this report. Adam Schiff has been the author of many things, a lot of them found to be false over the past couple of years but he’s gonna be the author of the report,” Collins explained, later adding, “My first and foremost witness in Adam Schiff.”
He also said that Schiff needs to be cross-examined by Republicans in order to confirm his findings in the report and to get to the bottom of his ties to the whistle-blower.
“He’s put himself into that position. If he chooses not to then I really question his veracity and what he’s putting in his report. I question the motives of why he’s doing it. It is easy to hide behind a report,” Collins said.
“It’s easy to hide behind a gavel and Intelligence Committee behind closed-door hearings, but it’s going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions about what his staff knew, how he knew, what he knew about the whistle-blower report, his interactions he’s had with Ukraine, the other things that he’s had over time in this process,” he added.
Adam Schiff’s connection to the whistle-blower has driven skepticism with a lot of Republicans. His office was in contact with the whistle-blower before the report was even filed. Additionally, alleged whistle-blower Eric Ciaramella was said to have had a “bro-like” relationship with one of Schiff’s closest aides.
Ciaramella, a 33-year-old career CIA analyst, was the Ukraine director on the National Security Council during the Obama administration and briefly worked as acting senior director for European and Russian affairs under the Trump administration. The Washington Examiner reported that he currently works as a deputy national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia on the National Intelligence Council.
The Washington Examiner also reported that he had a close relationship with many people in the Obama administration, including former Vice President Joe Biden. The two attended a State Department banquet together in 2016.
It is not been confirmed that Ciaramella is the whistle-blower.
Adam Schiff has repeatedly denied that he knows who the whistle-blower is and has worked hard to keep the confirmed identity of the whistle-blower private. The full list of witnesses Republicans want to testify has not been released. Nadler gave the minority party until Dec. 6 to provide such a list. From there, he will decide who will be allowed to testify.