Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) suggested Saturday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) will not release Michael Atkinsons transcript amid an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
As the inquiry moves from the House Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee, headed by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Ratcliffe claimed Atkinson, who is the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), may have revealed information about a potential link between Schiff or his staff and the whistleblower who triggered the inquiry.
Responding to a question on Twitter about the transcript, Ratcliffe said, “Its because I asked IG Atkinson about his investigation into the contacts between Schiffs staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified secret so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions.”
Atkinson testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee on Oct. 4, or about a week after the inquiry was publicly announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). However, unlike the other impeachment witnesses, his transcript has not been released by the Intelligence Committee. Before his deposition, on Sept. 30, Atkinsons office said the whistleblowers complaint “appeared credible.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on the existence of the whistleblower complaint about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats seized on the complaint, announced the inquiry, and claimed there was quid pro quo in the presidents dealings with Ukraine. They have alleged that Trump abused his power by withholding U.S. foreign aid to the country in exchange for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden, and the younger Bidens role as a board member on Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings.