House Intelligence Committee expects to hear from whistleblower 'very soon': Schiff

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., discusses the impeachment inquiry on "This Week."
10:53 | 09/29/19

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Transcript for House Intelligence Committee expects to hear from whistleblower 'very soon': Schiff
We are back now with the chair of the house intelligence committee Adam Schiff. You heard Rudy Giuliani say you were not a fair chair of the committee. It is difficult for him to cooperate. At one point he said he'll not cooperate as long as you're the chair. Your response? He seems to think that I'm the judge and jury here. My role is to do the investigation. My role is to make sure the facts come out. If it were to lead to impeachment -- I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves -- it's the senate that makes the determination about whether the president's conduct should result in his removal from office. Yes, I intend to hold the president accountable. I intend to do a thorough investigation. What we have seen so far is damning because what we've seen in the call record is the president of the United States use the full weight of his office with a county beholden to America for its defense even as Russian troops occupy part of its land. The president used that leader to get dirt on his opponent in our election. It's hard to imagine a series of facts more damning than that. We'll get to the bottom of it. Let me stop you right there. You're hearing some of the president's defenders saying in the absence of an explicit quid pro quo or some document saying we're withholding the aid, that is what is necessary to pursue impeachment. What's your response to that? That's nonsense. It is illegal and improper, a violation of oath, violation of his duty to defend our elections, our constitution for the president to merely ask for foreign interference in our election. That is enough that the president said I want you to do us a favor and, though, he added immediately after the Ukraine president talked about the need to get more javelins more weapons to defend against Russia. We don't have to show a quid pro quo, although this conversation comes close. You have the added fact that this conversation takes place at a time when the president is withholding hundreds of millions of dollars to assistance to the Ukrainian president and their people aren't stupid. Neither are the American people. They can see a shakedown when they see it going on. That's what this was. The whistle-blower's complaint mentioned mayor Giuliani and his efforts several times, more than two dozen times, in the complaint. Do you need to call Rudy Giuliani as a witness? We'll make that decision down the road after we determine all the facts he was involved in in terms of his efforts that were a foundation to that phone call. It seemed the Ukraine president understood what was going to be asked of him. We want to flush out the facts and we'll make a decision whether it's productive to bring in a witness like Rudy Giuliani. Let me address this attack that he has made and others in the GOP have made on this whistle-blower. This whistle-blower showed a lot of guts to come forward. The fact that what the whistle-blower related came from third parties doesn't make it less credible when that information is borne out. What the whistle-blower reported about the president's communications with president zelensky turned out to be right on the mark. What they communicated about withholding of funds was right on the mark. What the whistle-blower said about sequestering these conversations in a place where it didn't belong, this covert file turned out to be right. This whistle-blower has been substantially corroborated. That suggests that other information in the complaint will be substantially corroborated. Do not dismiss both the professionalism of this whistle-blower and this is what we would expect from someone out of the intelligence community. Have you reached an agreement yet with the whistle-blower and his attorney about providing the information firsthand? We have. As director Maguire promised, that whistle-blower will be allowed to come in and come in without a minder from the justice department or from the white house to tell the whistle-blower what they can and cannot say. We'll get the unfiltered testimony of that whistle-blower. We're taking all the pre indications we can to make sure we do so. We'll allow that testimony to go forward in a way to protect the whistle-blower's identity. With the president saying we have to treat traitors and spies like we used to execute trait ors and spies, you can imagine the security concerns here. When do you expect to hear from the whistle-blower? Very soon. It will depend on how quickly the director of national intelligence can complete the security clearance process for the whistle-blower's lawyers. We're ready to hear from the whistle-blower as soon as that is done. We'll keep riding shotgun to make sure the acting director doesn't delay in that clearance You heard mayor Giuliani say he might invoke attorney/client privilege. He'll testify if the president if the president wants him not to testify, it seems likely he won't. What about the other white house aides mentioned in the whistle-blower's complaint? The president said they might have to go to the courts to stop this impeachment process. Are you concerned they're going to slow this process down by invoking executive privilege for white house aides? I am concerned about it. They have been making these claims of privilege for months and months in seeking to obstruct the work of congress. Here's the problem for the administration with that strategy. Even as they try to undermine our ability to get to the bottom of the full facts of how he was coercing Ukraine to dig up dirt on his opponent or manufacture it, they will be strengthening the case for an article of impeachment based on the lawful functions of congress. They can't have it both ways. If they're going to obstruct, they're going to increase the likelihood they move on on an article of impeachment on obstruction. We're going to move on. We're going to find out why those finds were withheld. We'll find out who was in the know about it. We'll find out why this information was hidden in a place that stores the most classified information. We'll make sure we get to the bottom of this. Why has there not been a full house vote? That happened in the case of Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and I tried an impeachment case some years ago in the senate involving a corrupt judge. As far as I recall we didn't have a vote in the full house. For a presidential impeachment you should have. It's not necessary as a matter of counsel institutional law. All that's necessary is we conduct the impeachment inquiry in the manner we're doing. Through the judiciary committee, and chairman Nadler has already done this. A vote isn't required. What's important is the work gets done and we're bringing a sense of urgency to it. We have the inspector general coming in this week in closed session to discuss other witnesses we want to talk to who are within the white house or were within the white house, that can shed light on the serious allegations in the complaint. We noticed depositions for five of the state department people, the former ambassador to the Ukraine who was abrupted removed from her post as well as ambassador Volker who was a liaison between Rudy Giuliani and whatever conduct he is undertaking in Ukraine. We're moving forward with all speed. You have been criticized by the president and others for part of your opening statement. I want to show part of it. I'm going to say this only seven times so you better listen good. Make up dirt on my political opponent. Understand? Lots of it. This is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate. That was you making a dialogue, putting it in a president's mouth. If the facts are as damning as you say, why make up dialogue for dramatic effect? George, you're right the call speaks for itself. It's plenty damning. Let's not pretend this is what the president is upset with me about. I can tell you exactly why the president is furious with me. The president is furious with me because when I learned a whistle-blower filed a complaint being withheld by congress and no one in the country knew about this yet, I went public to demand we got the complaint. I scheduled a hearing with the acting director to force him to come in to explain why he was the first director to withhold a complaint from congress. That had the effect of forcing the white house to produce that complaint which I made public. That had the effect of forcing them to release that call record. That's what the president is furious with me about. The president believes it is his god-given right to shake down foreign leaders for help in his re-election and he shouldn't be encumbered with the public finding out about it. That's what incensed the president. I'm willing to take the brunt of that. I have to say once again I am so grateful to the courage of the whistle-blower. All I did was expose the complaint. Had the whistle-blower not come forward, none of us would have known about the corrupt comment. Final question. Since then, have other whistle-blowers come forward to your committee or the inspector general. I don't want to comment on whether other whistle-blowers are coming forward to either us or the inspector general. I would hope that others, in particular those that the whistle-blower was referring to, would look at the courage that he or she has demonstrated and follow that example. We're dependent on people with good conscious coming forward now particularly now given that we have an unscrupulous president. Thank you, Mr. Schiff. Thank you George. Round table is up next. Chris Christie and Rahm emanuel.schiff. Thank you George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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