Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., just banned a key Republican lawmaker from the deposition of a former anti-Trump national security official believed to be at the center of ongoing Ukraine proceedings, sources tell The Federalist. Schiff tossed Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., out of the deposition.
Although the U.S. House of Representatives has not approved a resolution authorizing a formal impeachment investigation, House Democrats have nonetheless insisted that they have full authority to subpoena all documents and testimony they desire, even if specific committees lack the jurisdiction to demand particular information. Schiff, whom Pelosi tapped to lead her party’s anti-Trump impeachment efforts, chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), which only has jurisdiction over the federal government’s intelligence agencies and related components.
According to the Congressional Research Service, formal impeachment proceedings are typically referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Gaetz sits on that committee; Schiff does not. The House has yet to approve a resolution granting broad impeachment investigative authority to any of its committees.
Several officials told The Federalist that they believe Fiona Hill, who was subpoenaed last week to share her knowledge of allegations of wrongdoing against Trump regarding a phone conversation he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, is one of the unnamed sources for the anti-Trump whistleblower whose August 12 complaint fanned congressional impeachment fires. Hill was reportedly planning to testify about her knowledge of the ouster of Marie Yovanovitch, a controversial figure who was removed from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May.
Schiff has come under fire for blatantly lying about his staff’s interactions with the anti-Trump complainant. Although he falsely denied that neither he nor his staff had any interactions with the complainant, his team had actually coordinated with the complainant before the complaint against Trump was even filed.
Schiff has also raised the ire of transparency and open government advocates by selectively leaking incomplete and out-of-context information against Trump while stubbornly refusing to release full transcripts of his depositions of federal officials subpoenaed by his committee.