GOP motions to subpoena whistleblower

Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee jumped in ahead of opening statements from Wednesday's impeachment witnesses to call for a subpoena to compel testimony from the whistleblower who triggered the inquiry.

Rep. Mike ConawayKenneth (Mike) Michael ConawayLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Laughter erupts at hearing after Democrat fires back: Trump 'has 5 Pinocchios on a daily basis' Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE (R-Texas) motioned that the committee subpoena the whistleblower for a closed-door hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanTrump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting The Hill's Morning Report - Dem impeachment report highlights phone records Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ohio), who was added to the committee to bolster Trump's defense, then pushed Intelligence Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHouse Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Tempers flare at tense Judiciary hearing on impeachment Overnight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing MORE (D-Calif.) for details on when the panel might vote to subpoena the whistleblower.

Schiff said the committee would have to vote to subpoena the whistleblower, and that such a vote would wait until after witness testimony.

Democrats, who hold the majority on the committee, seem certain to kill a motion to subpoena the whistleblower, who first raised concerns about Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

Since the whistleblower's complaint, most if not all of the allegations have been overtaken by testimony from witnesses, who have testified about their concerns that Trump was pressuring Ukraine to conduct politically motivated investigations of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference MORE and his son, Hunter.

Democrats have argued there is no reason to bring in the whistleblower given the subsequent testimony, and the whistleblower's attorneys have argued their client's anonymity should be respected.

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikLawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to allow new parents to advance tax credits CNN's Bianna Golodryga: 'Rumblings' from Democrats on censuring Trump instead of impeachment Adam Schiff's star rises with impeachment hearings MORE (R-N.Y.) questioned Schiff on whether he would block lawmakers from asking certain questions of witnesses. Schiff responded that he would only do so if it members were seeking to publicize the identity of the whistleblower. 

"We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower's identity, and I'm disturbed to hear members of the committee ... seek to undermine those protections by outing the whistleblower," Schiff said.

Trump and his Republican allies have made the anonymous whistleblower a central part of their efforts to undermine allegations of wrongdoing by the president. Trump and Republicans have called for the whistleblower to testify, despite the additional testimony and documents corroborating the bulk of the individual's original claims.

GOP members of the Intelligence Committee on Wednesday displayed a poster that alleged Schiff has known the identity of the whistleblower for more than 90 days.

But Schiff has said those claims are false and that he does not know the person's identity.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE (R-Ky.) and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpWhite House calls Democratic witness's mentioning of president's youngest son 'classless' Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Top Democrats knock Trump on World AIDS Day MORE are among those who have tweeted out the name of the person they believe is the whistleblower, despite federal laws offering protections to those who flag government abuse through the proper channels.