- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2019

The House Intelligence Committee will soon hear directly from the whistleblower, the chairman announced Sunday, as President Trump’s advisers called the informant a partisan operative from the deep state, pushing back against the Democrats’ impeachment probe.

Chairman Adam B. Schiff said his panel is moving forward with its impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump and will hear from the inspector general again this week, as well as five state department officials.

In an interview with ABC, the California Democrat said he’s negotiating with the whistleblower’s attorneys so lawmakers can speak directly with the individual who has accused the president of pressuring a foreign government to probe his potential 2020 rival, Joseph R. Biden.

“We will get the unfiltered testimony of that whistleblower,” Mr. Schiff said.

The comments come after the government’s watchdog met with lawmakers in a session last week to discuss the whistleblower’s complaint.

Even before the watchdog came to Capitol Hill, Democrats had already announced their impeachment probe.

“We are moving forward with all speed,” Mr. Schiff said.

But Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump, said the whistleblower is part of the “deep state,” claiming the informant should be labeled a partisan operative and is undeserving of whistleblower status.

The president’s adviser charged the individual, who The New York Times reported was on detail to the White House from the CIA, is part of a group of unelected bureaucrats trying to take down Mr. Trump.

“They leak this president’s phone calls,” Mr. Miller told Fox News. “They’ve been doing this continuously for nearly three years.”

But the House Democrats say the whistleblower’s complaint has been found credible, and Mr. Schiff has requested depositions from five State Department officials for later this week, including from former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch.

The whistleblower complaint led the administration to release the transcript of Mr. Trump’s July phone call with the Ukrainian president.

That call has become the subject of an impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump, formally launched last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. House Democrats assert the president was pressuring a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat, told CNN the House is pursuing an impeachment inquiry because the president allegedly withheld about $391 million in financial assistance from Ukraine and asked the country’s president to look into Mr. Biden and his son over a $50,000 per month payment in connection to a Ukrainian energy company.

“The president has abused his power,” Mr. Jeffries said.

The White House, though, contends the transcript of the call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows there was no attempt to use the threat of withholding aid to pressure the foreign leader.

Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, said the conversation doesn’t reveal a quid pro quo.

“The transcript gives you no reason to impeach this president,” Mr. Jordan told CNN.

Instead, White House officials have asserted there was wrongdoing on behalf of the Bidens — not Mr. Trump.

Republicans have claimed Mr. Biden tried to stop an investigation into his son and the energy company by demanding a Ukrainian prosecutor be fired.

And Mr. Miller said the president was the one exposing the corruption between Ukraine and the Obama administration.

“The president of the United States is a whistleblower,” Mr. Miller told Fox News.

Mr. Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani told ABC he discovered the Bidens’ actions with Ukraine while he was probing former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and it’s contacts with foreign governments during the 2016 election.

“The Washington press will not accept the fact that Joe Biden may have done something like this,” he said.

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