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Politics

Schiff's BIG Timeline Lie Has Hit the Fan

Schiff used intermediaries to collude with the CIA whistleblower before the Trump/Ukraine complaint was filed.

Mark Alexander · Oct. 3, 2019

“The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a CIA officer’s concerns that President [Donald] Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint,” reports The New York Times in a discovery that further diminishes Schiff’s shrinking credibility. However, the Times’s revelation provided Schiff an opportunity to control the narrative by enabling him to re-assert that he never met with the whistleblower.

Schiff previously declared numerous times that he did not know about the complaint before the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) notified his committee. And on Sept. 17, when news of the complaint first surfaced, Schiff said, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” Note, “we” implies neither he nor his staff.

We know both of these assertions are outright lies because Schiff’s spokesman admitted that his staff met with the CIA complainant and referred him to the ICIG. Even The Washington Post begrudgingly awarded Schiff its worst rating for lying – Four Pinocchios for his false claims about communications with the CIA analyst.

After the Times story about advance notice broke, Schiff’s intelligence committee spokesman said, “At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance.” That was echoed by the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Zaid: “I can unequivocally state that neither any member of the legal team nor the whistleblower has ever met or spoken with Congressman Schiff about this matter.”

While those claims may be correct as worded, they are carefully worded in such a way as to create a smokescreen cover for Schiff.

Of course the whistleblower didn’t meet directly with Schiff or his intel committee. Politicians use cutouts for such meetings, the intelligence community’s tradecraft reference to individuals who act as intermediaries — in this case, between the complainant and Schiff. The use of cutouts provided Schiff “plausible deniability,” enabling him to state he never met with the CIA source and thus imply he had no knowledge of the complaint. But not meeting directly with the source does not mean Schiff did not have full knowledge of the complaint.

While his staff may not have had the actual complaint in advance, it is known they had “outlines” of what would become the complaint. The Times noted that this “explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.”

And we should mention here that the complainant’s contact with Schiff’s staff was a violation of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA), under the section titled “Summary of Procedures for Reporting Urgent Concerns Pursuant to the ICWPA.”

President Trump isn’t buying Schiff’s evasive defense. Schiff, et al., “knew long before and helped write it, too. It’s a scam,” he protested.

That comment prompted the Times to offer a tut-tutting “fact check” dutifully echoing Schiff’s talking points: “There is no evidence that Mr. Schiff [helped write the complaint], and his spokesman said he saw no part of the complaint before it was filed.”

Obviously, Trump’s point was not that Schiff personally had conversations with the complainant or personally helped write the complaint. Again, to have been directly involved would have disabled his “plausible deniability” defense. But the narrative that Schiff didn’t know exactly what was in the complaint outline is absurd.

“This is a hoax,” Trump rightly concluded about the impeachment charade. “This is just a continuation of what has been playing out since my election. It’s a scam. [Schiff] should be forced to resign from Congress.”

For that reason he insists he will cooperate with investigators, but is demanding the identity of the whistleblower be revealed and that those providing him classified information be prosecuted.

Finally, given that the Times studiously avoided the issue of timing — that Schiff had a month and a half to coordinate the rollout of a complaint filed on Aug. 12 — all of this now leads to another serious question: Is there a connection between Schiff and the altered CIA reporting form?

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has demanded answers to that question and others, in a formal request to ICIG Michael Atkinson. For his part, Atkinson has testified to Congress that CIA complainant did not disclose to his office that he had previous contact with Schiff’s committee. He also noted the complainant is a Democrat with ties to a 2020 Democrat candidate. Atkinson said that there are serious questions about how Schiff had access to the substance of the complaint before it was released.

Meanwhile, based on the fact Schiff knew in advance about the complaint, McCarthy is calling for his removal as chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Meanwhile, laughably citing her “solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to McCarthy, insisted, “our Founders were specifically intent on ensuring that foreign entities did not undermine the integrity of our elections.” And when you are through with serial eye-rolls in response to Pelosi’s reference to the oath “to support and defend” our Constitution, she concluded her letter, “We hope you and other Republicans share our commitment to following the facts, upholding the Constitution, protecting our national security, and defending the integrity of our elections at such a serious moment in our nation’s history.”

(Revised)

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