(CNSNews.com) - House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Monday warned Republicans not to steer the public impeachment hearing into territory involving the Bidens or 2016 election interference, if there was any, by Ukraine.
"As explained in my November 9, 2019, response to the Ranking Member, it is important to underscore that the House’s impeachment inquiry, and the Committee, will not serve as venues for any Member to further the same sham investigations into the Bidens or into debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to undertake for his personal political benefit," Schiff said in a Nov. 12 memo setting the ground rules for the public phase of the hearing.
"Nor will the Committee facilitate any efforts by President Trump or his allies to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously and lawfully raised concerns about the President’s conduct."
In a Monday tweet, President Trump wrote that "as President, I have an 'obligation' to look into corruption, and Biden’s actions, on tape, about firing the prosecutor, and his son’s taking millions of dollars, with no knowledge or talent, from a Ukrainian energy company, and more millions taken from China, and now reports of other companies and countries also giving him big money, are certainly looking very corrupt (to put it mildly!) to me. Both Bidens should be forced to testify in this No Due Process Scam!"
Schiff, by shutting down questions about the Bidens and Ukraine’s alleged interference in the 2016 U. S. election, is refusing to allow Republicans to explore what Trump apparently believed when he spoke with Zelensky on July 25.
Certainly Trump’s personal attorney and close friend Rudy Giuliani believed Ukraine corruption impacted his client.
Giuliani has told various media outlets he spent months investigating "corruption at the highest levels of the Obama administration, which included illegal impact from Ukraine on the 2016 election. I was investigating this as an attorney to vindicate my client," Giuliani tweeted on Oct. 1. "It began and was largely done before Biden announced his run for President."
Giuliani alleges that Joe Biden "obstructed an investigation of Dem 2016 election interference" by forcing the firing of a former Ukraine prosecutor general.
Trump repeats Giuliani's suspicions in July 25 phone call
President Trump, in the now-famous July 25 phone call, asked Ukraine President Zelensky to "do us a favor...because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine..."
According to a read-out of the July 25 call, Trump asked Zelensky to "get to the bottom" of a supposed Ukrainian link to the hacking of the DNC server. (The U.S. intelligence community blamed Russia, not Ukraine, for the hacking.)
Trump told Zelensky, "[T]hey say a lot of it (the 2016 election interference) started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible.”
A few minutes later, Zelensky told Trump, "I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you."
"Good," Trump responded, "because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man...Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.
"The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that," Trump continued. "The other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me."
In 2018, Biden bragged that as the sitting vice president, he threatened to hold up a U.S. loan guarantee to Ukraine unless that country's prosecutor-general was fired. Biden and other witnesses have said Biden was carrying out U.S. and international efforts to get rid of a corrupt prosecutor.
But at the time, Biden's son Hunter was earning big money by sitting on the board of Burisma, a Ukraine energy company owned by an allegedly corrupt oligarch whom the Ukraine prosecutors had been investigating.