Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) tried to be slick on Tuesday by asking witnesses questions regarding the whistleblower’s identity.
Nunes questioned Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council aide about whether they had leaked information to the press.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) quickly put a stop to it after suggesting that the questions by Nunes were designed to oust the whistleblower’s identity.
“We need to protect the whistleblower. Please stop,” Schiff said. “I want to make sure that there’s no effort to out the whistleblower through the use of these proceedings. If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistleblower, that is not the purpose that we are here for and I want to advise the witness accordingly.”
Following Schiff’s caution, an attorney for Vindman declined to answer further questions about the whistleblower.
“On behalf of my client, we are following the rule of the committee, the rule of the chair with regard to this issue, and this does not call for an answer that is invoking the 5th or any theoretical issue like that,” the attorney noted. “We’re following the ruling of the chair.”
“We’ve attempted to subpoena the whistleblower to sit for a deposition,” Nunes countered. “The chair has tabled that motion and has been unwilling to recognize those motions over the last few days of this impeachment inquisition process.”
Take a look at the video clip below: