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Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial

Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate presses Biden's pick for secretary of State on Iran, China, Russia and Yemen GOP senator questions constitutionality of an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office Graham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article MORE (R-S.C.) said on Wednesday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis Angus King warns of 'grave danger' of Trump revealing classified information Schiff says 'massive intelligence and security failure' led to Capitol breach MORE (D-Calif.) should be a witness in the Senate's impeachment trial. 

Graham was asked during an interview with Fox News's Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityAlmost 7 in 10 oppose Trump pardoning himself: poll Can the GOP break its addiction to show biz? Prosecutors say man who brought weapons to Capitol carried list of 'good guys' and 'bad guys' MORE if senators would try to call Schiff, his staff, the whistleblower or Hunter Biden as part of an impeachment trial. 
 
"As a matter of oversight, I'm not going to call a House member, but if you impeach the president of the United States, I want to find out if in fact Schiff and his staff met with the whistleblower," Graham said. 
 
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"So if there's a trial in the Senate, one of the witnesses will be Adam Schiff because if he in fact did meet with the whistleblower and coach the guy up, I think that's relevant to the impeachment inquiry itself," Graham continued. 
 
Graham appeared to be referring to a moment during the public impeachment inquiry hearing earlier in the day when Schiff pushed back against an accusation from Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMcCarthy won't back effort to oust Cheney Wyoming GOP shares 'outcry' it has received about Cheney's impeachment vote The Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever MORE (R-Ohio) that he knew the identity of the whistleblower whose claim is at the center of the House impeachment inquiry. 
 
When Jordan said Schiff was the only member of Congress who knew the whistleblower's identity, Schiff responded, "As the gentleman knows, that's a false statement. I do not know the identity of the whistleblower." 
 
A spokesman for Schiff didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 
 
Senate leadership has given no indication about who it may or may not allow to be called as witnesses as part of a likely Senate impeachment trial. 
 
The Senate passed a resolution 100-0 during the Clinton impeachment trial that established the procedure for filing motions, how long senators would have to ask questions and the way witnesses would be called.
 
But a second resolution specifying which individuals would be called as witnesses faltered along party lines.
 
 
Republicans have seized on Schiff as a top antagonist as they've looked for a strategy to combat the House impeachment inquiry, which centers on whether Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in an effort to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE and his son Hunter Biden.
 
A source familiar with the whistleblower's contacts told Reuters on Wednesday that the whistleblower never spoke or met with Schiff. 
 
Republicans first homed in on Schiff in the wake of a New York Times story earlier this year reporting that the whistleblower reached out to him before going to the intelligence community's inspector general. 
 
Democrats defended Schiff at the time, arguing that whistleblowers routinely reach out to the Intelligence Committee and that the chairman's staff followed protocol by telling him or her to contact the inspector general.
 
A spokesman for Schiff has also said that the committee didn't review the whistleblower complaint in advance and that Schiff knew neither the details of the complaint nor the whistleblower's identity.