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Speier defends Democrats' decision to keep whistleblower out of public hearings

Speier defends Democrats' decision to keep whistleblower out of public hearings
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierBill introduced to create RBG monument on Capitol Hill Why labeling domestic extremists 'terrorists' could backfire Hillicon Valley: Google lifting ban on political ads | DHS taking steps on cybersecurity | Controversy over TV 'misinformation rumor mills' MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday defended a decision by House Democrats to keep the whistleblower who spurred the impeachment inquiry into President Trump out of public hearings. 

Speier said  on ABC “This Week” that the Republicans’ request for the whistleblower to testify is grounded in the House minority “making an issue of anything that they think will give them some gravitas.” 

But the House Oversight and Reform Committee member said the whistleblower can’t testify about anything in more detail than other witnesses with more direct knowledge of the allegations against the president. 

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“The only thing that the whistleblower can say is that he was told by other people about the phone call. We have the other people coming forward to actually testify. So you have direct evidence, not indirect evidence,” she said. 

“And the whistleblower has great risk associated with his life right now. And he also has the right under the law, under the whistleblower statute, to have his whistleblower complaint filed and for him to be anonymous,” she continued, adding that Democrats “feel very strongly about whistleblower protection.” 

The whistleblower is among witnesses the GOP has requested testify in the public hearings starting this week. 

Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse Democrats want to silence opposing views, not 'fake news' White House defends not sanctioning Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi What good are the intelligence committees? MORE (D-Calif.) said in a letter to Republicans that the whistleblower’s testimony would be “redundant and unnecessary” and said it would place the person at risk, noting the president’s attacks. 

Speier on Sunday defended Schiff’s actions and the fairness of the inquiry, saying that other witnesses the GOP has requested to testify would likely be able to appear.