The chattering class is starting to ask questions about a 179-page transcript of an impeachment witness that is missing – and with good reason. House Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) appears to be behind this omitted transcript, and Republicans, along with the president’s defense team, are working overtime to get their hands on this mysterious testimony.
Does this matter in the grand scheme of things? In a word: Yes.
When speaking about the witnesses who testified before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Schiff keeps referring to 17 witnesses when there were 18 who gave evidence. The overlooked transcript belongs to Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community inspector general, who is widely believed to have firsthand knowledge of the whistleblower complaint.
Why would the testimony of such a key witness be ignored? Could it be that Mr. Atkinson’s testimony is damaging to the Democratic impeachment efforts? But, wait – the Democrats have repeated often that this entire affair is a “solemn one,” and they are trying only to get to the truth. But the truth is difficult to unearth when some of the testimony is covered up.
Ratcliffe to the Rescue
Appearing on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX) revealed a possible reason for the Atkinson transcript omission:
“… I was there. It’s the one transcript out of 18 that hasn’t been released. It’s a 179-page transcript … It’s the one transcript that talks about Adam Schiff and the whistleblower. Now, everyone knows by now that Adam Schiff was not truthful about his contacts with the whistleblower. What they don’t know and what’s in that transcript is that the whistleblower wasn’t truthful about his contacts with Adam Schiff. This whole thing started, Maria, when the whistleblower filed a complaint with the inspector general under penalty of perjury that wasn’t true and correct, made representations in writing and verbally that weren’t true and correct. And when we found that out and tried to get into the details of that, Adam Schiff, who was in charge of this investigation, shut it down, and now he’s trying to bury that transcript.”
And The Washington Times reported this: “potentially exculpatory evidence for Mr. Trump has remained classified and is not part of the record for the impeachment trial.” The classified part of this political charade is key because it means that the president’s legal team is denied access to it.
Throughout this impeachment process, Democrats have maintained that their desire is to get to the root of what happened between Mr. Trump and Ukraine. If that were true, why ignore crucial witness testimony? This type of maneuver is telling and should make the American people suspect of the Dems’ true motives.
To be taken seriously, the House committee needs to release Atkinson’s transcript. Otherwise, its efforts to impeach the president will only expose the Dems’ desire to remove a duly elected president as a power-hungry political move.
But perhaps that cat is already out of the bag?
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.