Here, from the Washington Times--'No further discussion': Talks halt between whistleblower lawyers and Schiff staff amid expectation he won’t testify.
The whistleblower whose complaint launched impeachment proceedings against President Trump is unlikely to testify to Congress, as talks have ceased between his legal team and committee leaders.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who has overseen depositions in Democrats' impeachment proceeding, was initially eager for the whistleblower to testify before citing concern about the person being identified.
Republicans accuse Schiff, a California Democrat, of changing course to prevent inquiries into his staff's dealings with the whistleblower before he filed his Aug. 12 complaint to the Intelligence Community inspector general.
A source familiar with the discussions told the Washington Examiner that talks halted over potential testimony from the whistleblower and there is no discussion of testimony from a second whistleblower, who supported the first's claims.
“There is no indication that either of the original whistleblowers will be called to testify or appear before the Senate or House Intelligence committees. There is no further discussion ongoing between the legal team and the committees,” the person said.
Schiff said last month that the whistleblower had indicated a willingness to talk and that he “look[ed] forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week.” On Sept. 25, he declared in a statement, “We need to speak with the whistleblower.”
Schiff has since backtracked, saying on Oct. 13, “Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected.”
In other words, House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump over a second-hand whistleblower complaint by a partisan CIA officer, and neither he nor his source will actually testify about it (for now...).
Meanwhile, once the House impeaches Trump - which it most certainly will - the tables will turn in the Senate, which will hold a mandatory trial. Not only will the GOP-Senators controlling the proceedings be able to subpoena documents and other evidence, they'll be able to compel Ciaramella, the Bidens, Chalupa and any other witnesses they desire as we head into the 2020 US election.
Nancy Pelosi saw this coming and caved to her party anyway. There isn't enough popcorn in the world for what's coming.
The GOP Senators face an interesting dilemma--how to fulfill their duty to uphold the Constitution? Consider the alternatives:
1) They could dismiss the articles for failure to state an impeachable offense.
2) They could dismiss the articles as the product of a corrupt process led by a corrupt and conflicted Committee Chairman and an offense to due process.
3) They could take the opportunity to conduct a searching inquiry into the origins of the articles, calling witnesses and demanding documents.
Oh my--choices! Instead of wondering which is the least bad choice, McConnell and his lieutenants may need to decide which is the most best!
I have to wonder what Dem senators are talking about these days. It's one thing for House Dems in safe districts to gamble with their majority, but how does all this affect Dem senators? New York, California, and a few other states may be safe "districts" for Dem senators, but that's not the case for most senators, who have to run on a statewide basis and could face tough elections if the election is run on the issue of impeachment. They've already seen Trump's precedent breaking success in flipping Senate seats in the 2018 midterms. Dem senators can hardly be happy with the way things are going.
UPDATE: Yesterday morning John Ratcliffe pointed this out to Fox News:
Think about it this way, Bill. Yesterday Democrats passed a resolution to give Chairman Schiff the most authority in the impeachment process, moving forward. Adam Schiff is someone who has tried to impeach the president not once, not twice, but now three times. The first time he accused the president of treason and said he had evidence to support collusion with Russia. That wasn't true. Then he said we should impeach the president because he obstructed justice, and promised Bob Mueller would breathe life into that--until Bob Mueller admitted his obstruction analysis was under a legal standard and burden of proof that didn't exist. So now we're on to fake impeachment effort number three, surrounded by a whistleblower--a whistleblower who first met with, yeah, that's right! the staff of Chairman Schiff. The details of that haven't been released. Chairman Schiff won't release the Inspector General's sworn testimony, which will confirm the contacts between Chairman Schiff and the whistleblower.
But that was in the morning, which comes before ... the afternoon! In the afternoon, as I pointed out in a comment yesterday, Nancy Pelosi had a new gambit. Maybe, she said, they'd be looking at more than just Ukraine. It looks like they know--just one day after their flop of a resolution vote, that gained no GOP support and failed to attain Dem unanimity--that Impeachment 3.0 has collapsed, just as 1.0 and 2.0 did. So now it's on to Fishing Expedition 4.0!
Scott Jennings at CNN:
Let's be honest. The Democrats were always going to do this. From the minute we realized on election night that Donald Trump had won, they began fantasizing about nullifying the election results. Indeed, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, the Democrats' biggest concern was that Trump would not accept the outcome -- a Hillary Clinton win, of course! -- of which they were quite certain.
And as it turns out, it was the Democrats who had no intention of accepting it. How odd that they have again become what they claim to detest about Trump.
I might ask: where is the Democratic profile in courage, someone willing to stand up to Nancy Pelosi and call the House impeachment what it is: a norm-obliterating, kangaroo court, run by a party that apparently has little confidence in its ability to beat Trump in the next election?