By Edwin Mora
House Democrats are cherrypicking which transcripts of testimony provided in the secret and partisan impeachment probe they release and when, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who has witnessed the private depositions, declared Monday.
His comments came soon after the Democrats released the transcripts of the testimony provided by former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on October 11 and Michael McKinley, a former senior advisor to the Secretary of State with no direct knowledge to Ukrain, on October 16.
Jordan, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, one of three panels conducting the impeachment probe, called on Democrats to release the full transcript of the deposition provided by former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, the first witness of the inquiry.
Echoing Jordan and other Republicans, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), argued in early October that the full transcript of Volker’s testimony would have already “exonerated” President Donald Trump of any wrongdoing.
In the wake of the release of the first set of impeachment probe testimony transcripts, Jordan wrote on Twitter Monday, “Democrats cherry pick which transcripts they release and when. Why not release Ambassador Volker’s testimony? He was the very first witness to testify!”
Democrats cherry pick which transcripts they release and when.
Why not release Ambassador Volker’s testimony? He was the very first witness to testify!
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) November 4, 2019
The House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs are conduction the impeachment investigation.
Meanwhile, they are holding on to the testimony of individuals who contradicted the quid pro quo claim at the center of the probe in which Trump allegedly pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for aid. Trump and Ukraine have denied the claim.
A “whistleblower” complaint accusing Trump of leveraging aid to pressure Ukraine to launch a probe into corruption allegations against the Bidens triggered the impeachment inquiry.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who has also witnessed the impeachment probe testimonies, noted via Twitter Monday that “there is nothing” in the testimony provided by Yovanovitch and McKinley “to impeach [Trump] for.”
The transcripts from the interviews of Ambassadors Yovanovitch & McKinley were just released. Will immediately review. Assuming all is accurate, having sat through both, there is NOTHING in there to impeach POTUS for. A Pres can recall an Amb at any time WITH or WITHOUT cause.
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 4, 2019
Since the probe began, Republicans have repeatedly called on Democrats to release all the transcripts of testimony provided so far — all behind closed doors. Republican lawmakers have blasted Democrats for cherrypicking and mischaracterizing evidence obtained during the private depositions.
The partisan impeachment probe resolution, approved along partisan lines last week with two Democrats joining all Republicans in opposing it, authorizes the release of transcripts “with appropriate” unilateral “redactions for classified and other sensitive information.” However, the resolution does not compel the release of all transcripts, leaving it up to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to decide which ones to release and when.