Adam Schiff: State Department Is Withholding Relevant Text Messages and Emails From Gordon Sondland

Adam Schiff: State Department Is Withholding Relevant Text Messages and Emails From Gordon Sondland

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff has said that the State Department is holding back text messages from Congress related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry. The texts are reportedly on a device owned by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

Sondland was due to testify before Congress on Tuesday but he was abruptly ordered not to appear by the State Department. Schiff has suggested that the administration is now trying to obstruct the congressional investigation.

“The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents – we consider, yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress,” he said.

“We’re also aware the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device,” Schiff added. “And the State Department is withholding those messages as well.”

Schiff’s comments are the strongest statement yet that House Democrats believe the Trump administration is actively trying to thwart their impeachment inquiry. Obstruction of justice could be an article of impeachment the House may vote on, as it was for President Richard Nixon.

President Donald Trump earlier confirmed that he had taken the decision to order Sondland not to testify before the House.

It remains to be seen who decided not to release Sondland’s text messages and hold his personal device at the State Department.

 

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Senior Editor and Political News Writer.