Republicans have called for former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and the whistleblower whose complaint set in motion an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump to testify in public hearings starting next week.
Democrats, who control the US House of Representatives, launched the impeachment probe in September after the whistleblower alleged the Republican president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Trump has dismissed the Ukraine scandal at the center of the impeachment as a "Witch Hunt" and "Democratic Hoax".
Now that Republicans want Hunter and the whistleblower to testify, it is likely that Democrats will reject their appearances in the hearings due to open on Wednesday.
Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the panel’s Democratic chairman, Adam Schiff, published on multiple news websites.
In the letter, which the two were included in a list of proposed witnesses, Nunes said the Democrats were pursuing a “sham impeachment process.”
He also alleged that Schiff had fabricated evidence in order to cast “in a sinister light” the phone call at the inquiry’s heart.
Nunes also said he wants Devon Archer, a businessman who served on the Burisma board with Hunter Biden, to testify, noting the pair could “assist the American public in understanding the nature and extent of Ukraine’s pervasive corruption.”
In response to the letter, Schiff issued a statement, saying the Republicans’ list was being assessed, however, he indicated he will probably refuse the requests for Hunter Biden, Archer and several other proposed witnesses.
The inquiry will not serve “as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the president pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit or to facilitate the president’s effort to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistleblower,” he said.
Several witnesses testified that there was a quid pro quo surrounding Trump's dealings with Ukraine.