Schiff: Impeachment inquiry report to be delivered ‘soon’ after Thanksgiving recess

Schiff left open the possibility of more closed-door depositions or open hearings

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks during the House Select Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Nov. 15. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff says his committee, along with the Oversight and Foreign Affairs panels, will transmit a report on the evidence gathered so far in the impeachment inquiry “soon after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess,” but he didn’t discount the possibility of more depositions or hearings.

In a Dear Colleague letter Monday, Schiff left open the possibility of more closed-door depositions or open hearings if new evidence comes to light or if White House and other executive branch witnesses decide to comply with subpoenas previously issued and ignored.

[Fiona Hill forceful, direct in countering Republican defense of Trump]

The committee wrapped up a week of high-profile public hearings Thursday with testimony from Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who worked on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council. Her forceful testimony countered the Republican defense of Trump and his dealings in Ukraine and connected the dots between the dozen current and former administration witnesses who testified.

“If other witnesses seek to show the same patriotism and courage of their colleagues and deputies and decide to obey their duty to the country over fealty to the President, we are prepared to hear from them,” Schiff wrote.

While some State Department and National Security Council employees provided testimony under subpoena, additional key witnesses were effectively blocked by the executive branch from testifying, including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton.

Schiff said the president’s effort to prevent their testimony “further demonstrates consciousness of guilt on the part of the President.”

The report will be turned over to the House Judiciary Committee, led by Jerrold Nadler. That panel will take the lead in the next phase of the impeachment inquiry, deciding whether or not to draft articles of impeachment.

The report will include all the instances of noncompliance with subpoenas, and Schiff said the Judiciary Committee can use that information to decide whether to include an article of impeachment focused on obstruction of Congress based on those instances.

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