House Republicans blast Dems for withholding impeachment docs, demand access to records

Republican members of several House panels involved in the formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump are blasting House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for withholding records related to their investigation from GOP lawmakers involved in the probe and demanding access.

Ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., along with several other Republican members of the panel penned a letter to Schiff on Friday accusing him and other Democrats of not providing physical copies or uploading digital versions of documents related to the impeachment inquiry to the minority staff.

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“We see no reason for your withholding of these documents except as a deliberate attempt to hinder the Minority’s participation,” they wrote Friday.

Nunes and fellow Republican members cited several documents, including letters from Democrats on the committee, sent to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and others. The Republicans also cited letters requesting depositions for several key officials.

Later Friday, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., raised a similar issue with Schiff, along with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight Committee acting Chair Carolyn Maloney—who are also jointly spearheading the impeachment inquiry--calling for access to investigative materials.

“Please make available all records, documents, transcripts and other materials related to or obtained in the course of the ongoing joint investigation between the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Committee on Oversight and Reform,” Collins wrote, giving a deadline of Oct. 22.

The Republican complaints come amid the House’s formal impeachment inquiry into the president, which was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., earlier this month. Pelosi, though, has said the House will not vote at this point on whether to make the inquiry an official proceeding.

The impeachment inquiry was sparked by a whistleblower complaint that said that Trump had pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, over their business dealings in Ukraine—specifically, why the elder Biden pressured the former Ukrainian president to fire a top prosecutor who was investigating a natural gas firm where Hunter sat on the board. The whistleblower’s complaint stated their concerns that Trump was soliciting a foreign power to influence the 2020 presidential election.

The president’s request also came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, something critics have cited as evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement. The White House and the president’s allies, though, have denied any sort of quid pro quo, and the Bidens have maintained that they did “nothing wrong.”

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But with regard to the whistleblower, Nunes and House Intelligence Committee Republicans also blasted Schiff for determining that the panel did not need to receive testimony from that individual.

“Given that you have recently acknowledged that the Committee no longer needs to receive testimony from the whistleblower, your ‘impeachment inquiry’ lacks any relationship with the jurisdiction of this Committee,” they wrote. “As you are aware, the Committee was established to conduct critical oversight of the Intelligence Community, and we are increasingly concerned our normal work is being overlooked in favor of partisan activities best suited for another Committee.”

Schiff did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.