Congressman Lee Zeldin returned to The Roundtable this Sunday to discuss his insider’s take on the latest items from the HIll, as well as to give his case for transparency in the Washington process.
More than two dozen congressional Republicans entered a closed-door witness deposition of a Pentagon official, related to the impeachment inquiry into President Trump this Thursday, demanding open access to the proceedings. Zeldin reported to The Roundtable that the move comes from frustration among House Republicans, that the depositions lack transparency.
“These members are frustrated, as I certainly would be if I was in their shoes,” Zeldin told Catsimatidis. “What’s amazing is some of the information that gets put out publicly is just not accurate,” he added, “In other cases, it might be six percent of the story.”
Citing the media’s concentration on Ambassador Bill Taylor’s opening statement this Tuesday, Zeldin criticized the lack of interest in the full scope of the testimonies and praised Republicans for seeking accountability.
“When you’re reading an opening statement that’s followed by nine hours or so of questions and answers, I can assure you there’s a heck of a lot more to know than just that opening statement,” Zeldin said, reflecting that Americans have a right to witness and read the depositions themselves.
“It’s not first hand information that you’re reading, it’s not second hand or third hand, it’s fourth hand,” he told The Roundtable. “As someone who’s been in that deposition room a lot, I have not heard a single thing you could possibly impeach the President of the United States for.”
He believes Republican lawmakers have a responsibility to give the American people information Democrats seem to be skirting.
“Adam Schiff says this is analogous to a grand jury investigation, but I’ve never seen a grand jury investigation where the prosecutor is also the judge and the jury,” Zeldin railed, calling the depositions “unAmerican” and “undemocratic.”
Believing the Democrats are finding their own means to an end, Zeldin notes to Catsimatidis that Republicans are prepared to ask the questions Democrats are not.
“If Adam Schiff won’t call the whistleblower, we want to,” Zeldin promised. “What about all the people who are in the whistleblower complaint who supposedly have first-hand information?”
This Thursday the Department of Justice upgraded an administrative probe to a criminal investigation regarding the Russian investigation into President Trump. Attorney General Bill Barr has stated he believes the DOJ and FBI misled FISA courts to obtain warrants to investigate President Trump. Zeldin told The Roundtable the Department of Justice echoes his own calls for an investigation.
“I’ve been saying for a long time, that there was a lot of misconduct that was made where individuals within the Department of Justice and the FBI were weaponizing their positions,” he reminded The Roundtable.
“When you’re giving documents to a secret court to get a warrant to spy on an American, there is no better example in the USA than the FISA court,” he said, adding there has been deliberate misleading of the FISA judges.
“Whether you are a judge dealing with a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor; you’re a judge with a felony capital case; or you’re a FISA judge—when you are being deliberately misled by the prosecutor, you should be deeply concerned and massively offended and wanting accountability.”
As far as the origin of the Russian investigation, Zeldin finds Democrats are protesting too much for something not to be occurring. “The only way that they would be this worked up is if they were concerned there was actual misconduct,” he concluded to The Roundtable.