Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff’s credibility continues to tailspin in an unseemly fashion. Schiff testified in a public congressional hearing on Wednesday, stating that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower when questioned by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Oh.
Here is the text of the relevant terse exchange:
Jordan: Do you anticipate when we might vote on the ability to have the whistleblower in front of us. Something you, of the 435 members of Congress, you are the only member who knows who that individual is. And your staff is the only staff of any member of Congress who has had the chance to talk with that individual. We would like that opportunity. When might that happen in this proceeding today?
Schiff: First, as the gentleman knows, that’s a false statement: I do not know the identity of the whistleblower, and I’m determined to make sure that identity is protected. But as I said to Mr. Conaway, you’ll have an opportunity after the witness has testified to make a motion to subpoena any witness and compel a vote.
Given the information that has come to light in the past several weeks, it is quite likely that Schiff is lying. Indeed, based on reporting from the New York Times in early October, the whistleblower is known to have approached Schiff’s office with his concerns regarding the July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before filing his official complaint with the Office of the Inspector General.
Furthermore, this past Monday, Schiff indicated in a procedural memo that any lawmaker who identifies the Ukraine whistleblower in public hearings could potentially be subjected to a House ethics probe. As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff emphasized federal laws that shield intelligence community whistleblowers from “reprisal or the threat of reprisal.”
He then supplemented that declaration with an acknowledgement of the mission of the Committee on Ethics, stating, “The Committee has a long, proud, and bipartisan history of protecting whistleblowers—including from efforts to threaten, intimidate, retaliate against, or undermine the confidentiality of whistleblowers.”
Schiff’s subtle threat is peculiar coming from an individual who allegedly does not know who the whistleblower is. It would seem some within the committee would need to know the whistleblower’s identity in order to determine whether the identity has, in fact, been revealed. It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which an ethics investigation could move forward without being able to concretely identify the nature of the violation.
Schiff’s latest dishonesty in the public hearings comes on the heels of a series of maneuvers on the part of House Democrats to poison the legitimacy of this impeachment process, largely at their own peril.
It was Democrats who declared to the American public the importance of an impeachment garnering bipartisan support. However, House Democrats have nonetheless stormed forward with the impeachment inquiry without gaining the vote of one single House Republican. The only bipartisan vote in the House, albeit slight, was a vote against the impeachment inquiry resolution.
Furthermore, the Democrats have done little to indicate they care too deeply about a transparent impeachment inquiry. Indeed, as Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Cal., Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, pointed out in his opening statement for the Kent and Taylor hearing on Wednesday, “The witnesses deemed suitable for television by the Democrats were put through a closed-door audition process in a cult-like atmosphere in the basement of the Capitol, where the Democrats conducted secret depositions, released a flood of misleading and one-sided leaks, and later selectively released transcripts in a highly staged manner.”
Similarly, as Nunes notes, on multiple occasions Democrats redacted from the transcripts the name “Alexandra Chalupa,” the contractor who had been hired out by the Democratic National Committee to work with Ukrainian officials to locate “dirt” on Trump, which she then furnished for use by the DNC and the Clinton campaign. But remember, foreign election interference is bad, right?
The Democrats have also given up on upholding any pretense that this process is a fair one. They have denied most of the GOP’s witness requests, given that they only want witnesses who are willing to play a sizable role in what Nunes calls a “low-rent Ukrainian sequel” to the “Russia hoax.” In a not so subtle twist, Democrats also have revealed themselves to be unopposed to patently lying, refusing to censure Schiff after he publicly read a bombastically fabricated version of the Trump-Zelensky phone call that simply was not true.
As Nunes darkly noted in his opening statement, the Ukraine investigation seems yet another failed hysterical attempt to oust President Trump following a years-long investigation that revealed no evidence of collusion with Russia on the part of the Trump campaign. Given the latest machinations on the part of House Democrats to destroy the little shred of legitimacy the process could possibly have possessed, Nunes may very well be correct.