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 GrahamTrump: 'I wouldn't mind' a long Senate impeachment process Poll finds Graham with just 2-point lead on Democratic challenger Hill editor-in-chief calls IG report 'a game-changer' MORE (R-S.C.) said on Wednesday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSupreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote McConnell, White House lawyer huddle on impeachment strategy MORE (D-Calif.) should be a witness in the Senate's 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 JordanDemocrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Democrats object to Meadows passing note to Jordan from dais Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay 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 BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers 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.