House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday accused Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of orchestrating a “calculated coup” to take down President Trump as the House prepares to hold the first public hearing of its impeachment inquiry.
“It is clear now more than ever, this is a calculated coup and it is being orchestrated by Adam Schiff,” said Mr. McCarthy on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “We are watching him orchestrate the takedown of a president after we just celebrated 30 years [since] taking down the Berlin Wall.”
The Republican leader’s broadside at Mr. Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, came after the California Democrat refused to allow Republicans to call Hunter Biden or the anonymous “whistleblower” to testify at the hearings starting Wednesday.
Mr. McCarthy accused Democrats of trying to obfuscate their involvement with the “whistleblower,” who reportedly met with Mr. Schiff and committee staffers before filing the complaint regarding the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“This has been orchestrated, and if it goes out longer, we will find the lies, we will find out how they calculated the truth, we’ll find more about the whistleblower’s attorney and others,” said Mr. McCarthy.
Mr. Schiff rejected Saturday ranking member Devin Nunes’s request to have the “whistleblower” and Hunter Biden testify, saying he wanted to avoid “sham investigations into the Bidens” and protect the anonymous informant’s safety.
In addition, Mr. Schiff told Mr. Nunes in a Saturday letter that the secondhand information relayed by the “whistleblower” is now “redundant and unnecessary,” given the “ever-growing body of evidence” from witnesses and documents, as well as the White House transcript of the call.
Mr. Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate possible corruption regarding Hunter Biden and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, prompting Democrats to accuse the president of leveraging foreign aid to dig up dirt on a political opponent.
Mr. Trump has said there was no quid pro quo, and that he continues to seek information on possible foreign interference in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Schiff was serving as “the fact witness, the prosecutor, the judge and jury.”
“Adam Schiff now is dictating that only the chair and ranker [member] and staff — so he’s saying staff is now more important than members of Congress in those first 45 minutes,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He is trying to control all of it.”
Mr. McCarthy shook up the Republican representation on the committee by saying that Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas has agreed to be replaced for the duration of the impeachment hearings with Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee.
“Jim Jordan has been at all these depositions and been part of it, so we wanted to add him for the short time period that the Intelligence Committee becomes the impeachment committee,” Mr. McCarthy said. “I made that addition last week, and we’ll add Mr. Crawford back on when it’s over.”