Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) told anchor Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” that yes, he “would like” to see Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), “the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence … answer questions about what was his engagement with the whistleblower” before the whistleblower’s “allegations were transmitted to Congress.”
“He has misled the American public earlier in the year on what he knew about, or the contact that he had with the whistleblower,” said Hurd on Sunday morning.
“So if you want to protect the identity of the whistleblower, I think it’s important for Chairman Schiff to answer questions about his interactions” with that person.
And it was on this key issue — the whistleblower’s identity — that Hurd departed from the beliefs of members of his own party.
The retiring congressman — who spent some years in the CIA — told Wallace that “outing” the whistleblower by compelling his testimony during a public and televised hearing would send a chilling message to other potential whistleblowers down the road.
“I think we should be protecting the identity of the whistleblower,” Hurd insisted.
“I’ve said that from the very beginning because how we treat this whistleblower will impact whistleblowers in the future,” he went on. “Having this whistleblower law on the books is important. It’s important checks and balance are not only in the intelligence committee, but in our government.”
During their conversation, Wallace also asked Hurd — who announced over the summer that he would not be seeking re-election in Congress next year — what he thinks about the Republican request to call Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, as a witness.
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“I would love to hear from Hunter Biden,” said Hurd. “I would love to hear from other Americans [who] served on the board of Burisma. I’m curious to know [how] someone who doesn’t have any experience in Ukraine nor experience in a natural gas company [gets named to] the board of a natural gas company in Ukraine.”
This is something, of course, that many everyday Americans have wondered about as well.
“We also need to hear and understand the corruption,” said Hurd. “We know corruption in the Ukraine is an issue … This is something that was a concern even in this current new administration in Ukraine.”
“So, hearing from people that can help provide insights into that, since that is, you know, central to this conversation, would be valuable.”
Wallace noted that Schiff on Saturday night essentially rejected the GOP witness list “that had been offered by Chairman [Devin] Nunes [Republican of California], and here’s what Schiff said: The Intel Committee will not be used, quote, ‘to carry out the same sham investigations into the Bidens and 2016 that the president wanted Ukraine to conduct.'”
“Given that response, Congressman Hurd,” continued Wallace, “what does that say about the fairness of a process that the Democrats are running and holding these hearings?”
“Unfortunately, Chris, this has been a partisan exercise from the very beginning,” noted Hurd.
He added, “I think we should just turn over every rock and pursue every lead to ultimately get to the truth. And it’s unfortunate that the Democrats on the committee and the Democrats in the House have created this partisan exercise.”
“In a normal hearing,” he went on, “the minority, the folks that are not in power, have the ability to offer a witness. We can’t do that in this case. Under previous impeachment inquiries, the minority and the president has had the opportunity to call witnesses, be involved.”
He also said again that this is “not a fair process.”
Then came this piece of information about the actual process and procedures in Congress.
“If we’re interested in trying to uncover the truth, then let’s not — let’s not put our thumb on the scale. But unfortunately, that’s what this process has been and what’s even crazier is they’re trying to have this completed by the end of the year. And I think we only have 16 or 17 legislative days left in the year,” said Hurd.
“Half of those days are what’s called fly-in, fly-out days, where people are coming in from their location.”
“So, to try to get that, try to pass NAFTA, to fund the government — to try to do all that in that short period of time, I think that’s next to impossible,” said Hurd.
This GOP congressman has opposed some of Trump’s policies, Wallace noted — including construction of the border wall.
The 23rd Congressional District that Hurd represents stretches across the southwestern part of Texas.
“You’ve opposed and have spoken out against some of his language during his time in office,” Wallace said to Hurd. “For you, what specifically do you want to learn from these hearings?”
“I think talk about impeachment has been premature,” noted Hurd. “I think impeachment is one of the most important and consequential things a member of Congress can do. And I think there’s 535 different opinions on what impeachment is. To evaluate that question, I think — it’s a violation of the law. So, I want to see, does this establish a criminal intent?”
“And yes, for me, I agree when I agree, I disagree when I disagree.”
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