The proposal would allow Republicans to circumvent the intelligence panel’s Democratic majority, led by California Rep. Adam Schiff, who has unilateral power to call witnesses as part of the impeachment inquiry of Trump.
Trump and a handful of House Republicans have called for the whistleblower to be identified. Democrats and the whistleblower’s lawyers argue that the identity of the analyst is irrelevant given testimony given by other witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.
The whistleblower accused Trump of abusing his power in his dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The complaint centers on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Zelensky to consider investigating whether Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to shut down an investigation in 2016 into Burisma Holdings, an energy firm that had the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden as a board member.
The whistleblower did not listen to the phone call but relayed what he said were concerns expressed by White House officials regarding the Trump-Zelensky phone call.
Schiff initially wanted to call the whistleblower to testify before Congress, but he backed away from the proposal after it was revealed that an aide in his office had contact with the whistleblower prior to him filing the Trump complaint.