WASHINGTON, DC — “We will not allow the outing of the whistle-blower,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, that is running the first day of hearings on impeaching President Donald Trump. Schiff said he will advise counsel to instruct testifying witnesses to not reveal the name of the person who said Trump was involved in a quid pro quo for U.S. aid to Ukraine if the newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would investigate corruption in his country that involved Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX), who sits on the committee, interrupted Schiff and called for a motion just as today’s hearing began.
“I seek a motion that we actually subpoena the whistle-blower for a closed door, secret deposition so that the questions that should be appropriately asked, and we explore, by our side and by your side, and prefer that rather it be your single decision, that the committee speak to that issue rather than you [making that determination],” Conway said to the chairman.
Schiff suspended Conaway’s motion until after the witnesses called to testify Wednesday have finished.
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was then recognized and asked when exactly Conaway’s motion to vote on subpoenaing the whistleblower before the committee will be. Jordan claimed that the only person in congress who has met the whistleblower is Schiff himself and no one else.
Schiff vehemently denied he has ever met the whistleblower.
Conaway has previously called for Schiff to step down due to his inability to fairly assess accusations against Trump. Last week, Conaway said the Intel Committee was not the appropriate venue for conducting impeachment hearings in part because of Schiff’s behavior.
“There is no justification for the House Intelligence Committee to run this investigation instead of the House Judiciary Committee, unless Democrats want to buck the fiduciary responsibility of the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and blindly follow the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee wherever his whims and personal grievances may lead him,” Conaway stated in a press release Oct. 31.
RealClearInvestigations publicly revealed the name of the whistleblower Oct. 31. There, reporter Paul Sperry noted that the whistelblower, “[Eric Ciaramella] is a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia “collusion” investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”
Sperry reported that Ciaramella was fired from the National Security Council staff over concerns he was leaking "negative" information to the press. He returned to the CIA.
Democrats have claimed that revealing Ciaramella’s name will deter future government workers from speaking out, or whistleblowing, and uncovering future corruption in government.