Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd Sunday that he can not call the Ukraine whistleblower to testify before the impeachment inquiry because the president has threatened the person's life.
"We don't need the whistleblower's second-hand evidence anymore," he said, adding that having the whistleblower testify would "only serve to endanger this person and to gratify the president's desire for retribution."
"We had a deep interest in having the whistleblower testify until two things happened. One, we were able to prove everything in the whistleblower complaint with witnesses that had first-hand information. And second, the president and his allies effectively put that whistleblower's life in danger. The president said the whistleblower and others should be treated as a traitor or a spy and we ought to use the penalty we used to use for traitors and spies, and that's the death penalty," Schiff said. "So, here's the thing, Chuck, we don't need the whistleblower's second-hand evidence anymore. It would only serve to endanger this person and to gratify the president's desire for retribution, and that is not a good enough reason to bring in the whistleblower."
CHUCK TODD: “You have said that you can continue to investigate while also compiling your report. What does that look like and, and, and is it more for show or is there a -- do you have some evidence that more investigation are going to happen next week?”
REP. ADAM SCHIFF: It’s certainly not for show. There’s more work to be done, but at the same time we’ve already accumulated quite overwhelming evidence that the president once again sought foreign interference in an election, conditioned official acts -- a White House meeting that Ukraine desperately wanted, as well as $400 million of bipartisan taxpayer funding to get these political investigations that he thought would help his reelection. So we view this as urgent.
We have another election in which the president is threatening more foreign interference. But at the same time, there are still other witnesses, other documents that we would like to obtain, but we are not willing to go the months and months and months of rope-a-dope in the courts, which the administration would more than love for us to do...
CHUCK TODD: There's a legal theory running around that it's a lot easier to get the Chief Justice to compel John Bolton to testify at a Senate trial than it would be waiting around to get him to Congress. Do you buy into that theory?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF: I think that may very well be true. Now, people like John Bolton, whose deputies had the courage to come in and testify, are going to have to answer one day why they saved what they knew for a book rather than tell the country when the country needed to know. But I do think that when it comes to documents and witnesses, that if it comes to a trial, and again we're getting far down the road here, that the Chief Justice will have to make a decision on requests for witnesses and documents. And, and so I don't envy that job for the chief justice.