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Schiff denies GOP calls for Trump whistleblower to testify: 'Redundant and unnecessary'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: DOJ accuses Russian hackers of targeting 2018 Olympics, French elections | Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats | House Democrats slam FCC over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump Federal commission issues recommendations for securing critical tech against Chinese threats Ratcliffe, Schiff battle over Biden emails, politicized intelligence MORE (D-Calif.) on Saturday effectively denied Republican lawmakers' request for a government whistleblower to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE

Schiff, who has helped lead the impeachment hearings of Trump and his dealings with Ukraine, said in a letter to Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 Democrat Arballo gains on Nunes: internal poll Sunday shows preview: Trump COVID-19 diagnosis rocks Washington, 2020 election MORE (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Intelligence panel, that the whistleblower's testimony would be "redundant" and "unnecessary," according to multiple reports.

"The impeachment inquiry, moreover, has gathered an ever-growing body of evidence — from witnesses and documents, including the President's own words in his July 25 call record — that not only confirms, but far exceeds, the initial information in the whistleblower's complaint," Schiff said. "The whistleblower's testimony is therefore redundant and unnecessary.

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Schiff added that "the individual's appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk" because of Trump's repeated threats. 

The whistleblower complaint accusing Trump of pushing Ukraine to open investigations for his political benefit led House Democrats in September to launch an impeachment inquiry. Multiple House committees have heard depositions from numerous former and current administration officials corroborating the whistleblower's account behind closed doors, and public hearings are scheduled for this week. 

The investigation has centered around allegations that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE and that military aid was tied to Kiev publicly declaring the probe.

Schiff's statement came just hours after Republicans sent him a letter including a list of individuals they'd like to testify in the public impeachment hearings. The government whistleblower and former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, were included on the list

Nunes on Friday also formally requested that Schiff privately testify amid the investigation, arguing that the congressman was making a "show trial" of the impeachment inquiry.

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In his letter to Nunes, Schiff emphasized that he wouldn't allow lawmakers to use the open hearings to carry out "sham" investigations into the Biden family. 

"The committee also will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm," he said. 

Trump and several Republicans have become increasingly outspoken in their push for the whistleblower to testify. Trump claimed last week that the figure had to "come forward" because the person got it "sooo wrong."