Contrary to recent statements made by House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, the State Department is more than “willing’ to comply with the Congressional impeachment inquiry regarding European Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s text messages, said a State Department official and congressional official familiar with the process.
Schiff claimed Tuesday that the State Department is blocking the release of the text messages from Sonland’s personal device because they will reveal information pertinent to the committee’s inquiry on the administration and Ukraine. On Tuesday, the Trump administration called off Sonland from testifying behind closed doors with lawmakers. President Donald Trump said in a tweet the hearing is nothing more than a ‘kangaroo court’ where ‘true facts are not allowed out for the public.”
As for Sonland’s text messages, a State Department official said they had less than two business days to process and review texts.
“It is completely normal for the State Department to vet these messages before providing the copies to Congress,” said the official.
Moreover, the State Department is more than “willing” to comply with Congress’s impeachment inquiry, after the department finishes processing the text messages, the official added.
“To say anything otherwise is false,” the official added.
A congressional official told SaraACarter.com that Schiff is “clearly misleading the public based on facts he knows not to be true.”
“Although Democrats have repeatedly argued that the Trump Administration is engaged in a cover-up, the State Department is not hiding Ambassador Sondland’s text messages,” the official said. “If Schiff were to slow down his impeachment process, and conduct this inquiry with consideration rather than haste, he would understand this simple rationale. Chairman Schiff should be ashamed of his deceptive statements.”
Early Tuesday, Schiff scolded the State Department and accused officials of withholding what he believes are damaging text messages regarding the Trump administration and Ukraine. He also accused State Department officials obstructing the committee’s investigation.
“Not only is the Congress being deprived of his testimony, and the American people are being deprived of his testimony today, but we are also aware that the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device which have been provided to the State Department,” said Schiff, shortly after the State Department blocked Sondland’s appearance before the committee.
“Although we have requested those from the ambassador and the State Department is withholding those messages as well,” added Schiff. “Those messages are also deeply relevant to this investigation and the impeachment inquiry.”
“The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress, a co-equal branch of government,” Schiff told reporters.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, slammed Schiff during an interview with reporters Tuesday saying that Schiff’s attempts to impeach the President ‘unfair and partisan.’
“You think about what the Democrats are trying to do, impeach the President of the United States thirteen months prior to an election based on an anonymous whistleblower with no firsthand knowledge who has a bias against the President, and the guy running the process Chairman Schiff didn’t event tell us that he had met with the whistleblower prior to the whistleblower filing the complaint,” said Jordan.