Republican lawmakers have sought to hijack several impeachment depositions in a crusade for information on the whistleblower who sparked the inquiry, according to a review of the transcripts by The Daily Beast.
Efforts from Republican lawmakers and their counsel to elicit information on the whistleblower—both by asking leading questions and asking point-blank for the person’s identity—were repeatedly batted down by Democrats, and in one case the attorney of the witness in disputes that became increasingly caustic.
Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Derek Harvey, an aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, provided notes for House Republicans ahead of the high-profile testimonies of Trump administration appointees with the name of the alleged whistleblower. The goal was that once the transcripts became public, so would the name of the individual.
In one example, during the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, minority counsel Steve Castor asked flat-out, “Is the whistleblower [redacted]?”
During the deposition of acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, who had testified that military aid to Ukraine was held up against the wishes of top officials including National Security Adviser John Bolton, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) pressed Taylor for more details on the names of individuals he spoke to at the National Security Council who provided information about Bolton’s thinking on the Ukraine situation.
“I guess I'm a little concerned on who at NSC would've been telling you about Ambassador Bolton,” Meadows said. “You felt like he was a kindred spirit on this. So who was telling you from the NSC that he was?”