Pressure Mounts for Schiff to Release Russia Investigation Witness Transcripts

Republicans are ramping up the pressure on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to release of dozens of witness interview transcripts from the panel’s investigation into Russian election interference.

The House Intelligence Committee voted in September of 2019 to publish the transcripts, and at the time, it was thought that their release would come within days.

Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter on Sunday and linked to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece asking why Schiff is still refusing to make the transcripts public. According to the WSJ, Schiff is blocking 43 transcripts that have been declassified and he won’t allow the declassification of 10 others.

“Adam Schiff is desperately trying to hide these transcripts (including mine) from the American people. Who do you think he’s trying to protect? Me or Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Sally Yates and Andy McCabe?” Trump Jr. tweeted.

GOP Spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington also tweeted about Schiff’s stonewalling last week, pointing out that there has already been a unanimous vote in the bipartisan committee to make the transcripts public.

“Mr. Schiff isn’t explaining his new opposition to transparency, though it seems likely he wants to shield promoters of the collusion theory from scrutiny. Among the transcripts he’s blocking are interviews with former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. Their authority was used to ‘unmask’ the names of Trump campaign officials who talked with foreigners who were wiretapped by U.S. intelligence,” the WSJ editorial board wrote.

We’re told that another blocked interview is with former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates — who in early 2017 used a wild reading of the Logan Act that helped lead to the ouster of President Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Mr. Schiff is also sitting on interview transcripts with Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign advisers Corey Lewandowski, Sam Clovis and Steve Bannon. Is he worried that the transcripts will highlight how little substance there was to his collusion claims? The interviews would also allow the public to compare the early testimony of former FBI and intelligence officials (James Clapper, Andrew McCabe) against what we now know really happened.

The editorial board concluded: “Mr. Schiff spent years shouting cover-up only to be exposed for making things up. Now that the evidence is ready for public release, he’s defying the unanimous vote of a bipartisan committee to make them public. What doesn’t Mr. Schiff want America to see?”

Just the News’ John Solomon first reported that Schiff was thwarting the release of the transcripts, last Monday.

Schiff directed then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats not to share HPSCI witness transcripts from the Russia investigation with Trump or White House lawyers even though some of the transcripts contained exculpatory evidence for President Trump’s team.

“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to Coats, obtained by Solomon.

California Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told the Washington Examiner that Schiff is “blatantly continuing to hide documents that expose their own mistruths.”

“HPSCI Democrats opposed every Republican document request and subpoena that helped to expose malfeasance in the FBI’s Russia collusion probe. And now, by refusing to publish the witness transcripts or the transcript of the committee’s briefing with former [Intelligence Community Inspector General] Michael Atkinson, the Democrats are blatantly continuing to hide documents that expose their own mistruths,” Nunes said. “There is no reason for keeping these documents secret except that they want to hide what’s in them.”

In March of 2019, all nine Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee called on Schiff to resign as Committee Chairman, citing his repeated claims that he had evidence of TrumpRussia collusion, despite Mueller finding no such thing.


Acting DNI Richard Grenell Disses Schiff in Scathing Letter Defending Staff Changes

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell sent a scathing letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in response to the congressman’s accusatory letter rebuking his management changes to the intelligence community, including the firing of  Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

In his April 7 letter, Schiff had complained that Grenell made staff reductions at the National Counterterrorism Center without consulting Congress, suggesting the moves were “inappropriately influenced by political considerations.”

“The Committee is reviewing the circumstances of Mr. Atkinson’s dismissal, including whether his termination was intended to curb any ongoing investigations or reviews being undertaken by his office,” Schiff wrote.

The House intel chairman also demanded that Grenell provide a written certification to his committee that he would not interfere with the work of future officials and that he certify he has never interfered in the work of Thomas Monheim, now the acting inspector general of the intelligence community.

On March 10, the House and Senate each received briefings from intelligence officials about potential election interference in 2020.

Schiff accused Grenell of allowing his staff to interfere with the briefings and asked him to keep Congress updated on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on election security.

“President Trump did not nominate you for confirmation as permanent DNI, and it would be inappropriate for you to pursue any additional leadership, organizational, or staffing changes to ODNI during your temporary tenure,” Schiff wrote.

In his sharply-worded response, Grenell rebuffed Schiff’s allegations and accused him of trying change the intel committee’s mandate.

“I must disagree with your proposals to divest the DNI of managerial competence and personnel decision-making authority and to replace your committee’s mandate for Intelligence Community (IC) oversight with a mandate for IC administration,” Grenell wrote in his two-page letter.

“Going forward, I encourage you to think of the relationship between your committee and the IC as that between the legislative and executive branches of government, rather than that between a hedge fund and a distressed asset, as your letter suggests,” he added.

“Career IC officials have conducted four studies in the last two years calling for reforms at the ODNI, and the career officials are eager to implement the recommendations. It is my duty to listen to these ODNI career employees who have ideas on how to improve the work we do for the American people,” Grenell wrote.

Grenell went on to defend the career intelligence officers at the ODNI, whom Schiff accused of politicizing intelligence:

I am compelled to defend these career officers from unsubstantiated indictments of their motivations and judgment. Many are offended by the accusations that they did not share unvarnished assessments. If you share with me the reports you believe provide evidence for these claims, I can promise you that I will review them with the seriousness such accusations demand.

In an apparent dig at Schiff’s well-known penchant for leaking, Grenell suggested in his letter that the intelligence officials who briefed lawmakers on March 10, left behind an unclassified fact sheet in order to protect themselves from out-of-context media leaks and distortions.

“We must continue to provide the American public this information to enable them to decipher the information that appears in the media,” he said.

The UNCLASSIFIED fact sheets also protect career intelligence briefers from any subsequent media reporting which might not otherwise do justice to the quality and integrity of their work.

Lastly, I strongly agree with your statement of a bipartisan legislative commitment to the IC. I would hope to see this commitment reflected on the signature line of your future letters.

In a statement Tuesday, Schiff blasted Grenell’s letter as insufficient and unresponsive.

“In his letter, Acting Director Grenell did not respond in any way to our oversight requests regarding the decision to fire the IC IG, sudden staffing changes at the NCTC, and his pursuit of structural and personnel changes at the ODNI without the approval of Congress,” Schiff said in a statement. “And the Acting Director failed to respond to important questions about whether [DNI inspector general Michael Atkinson] was investigating matters that may go uninvestigated as a result of his firing by Trump. The simple fact he was not willing to respond to a reasonable request from his agency’s oversight committee raises new basis for our concerns, particularly given this Administration’s history of covering up blatant misconduct.”

“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence owes us, and the Senate as well, answers to these questions,” Schiff continued, adding. “We remain ready to work with ODNI to ensure compliance with our oversight requests, consistent with its legal obligation to keep the Committee fully and currently informed of its activities.”

Schiff has reason to be alarmed by the recent staff changes at ODNI. Until recently, he seemed to have ODNI officials wrapped around his finger.

In a letter to then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, for instance, Schiff ordered that HPSCI witness transcripts from the Russia investigation not be shared with Trump or White House lawyers even though some of the transcripts contained exculpatory evidence for President Trump’s team.

“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to Coats, obtained by John Solomon’s Just the News.

“Such transcripts remain the sole property of HPSCI, and were transmitted to ODNI for the limited purpose of enabling a classification review by IC elements and the Department of Justice,” Schiff added in the letter.

U.S. intelligence officials said Schiff’s request made it impossible for them to declassify 10 of the transcripts, mostly of current and former White House and National Security Council witnesses, because White House lawyers would have had to review them for what is known as “White House equities” and presidential privileges.

But 43 of the transcripts were declassified and cleared for public release and given to Schiff’s team, but they have never been made public despite the committee’s vote to do so, officials said.

One senior official said the 43 transcripts were provided to Schiff’s team some time ago, and the 10 remain in limbo. Asked how long House Intelligence Democrats have had the declassified transcripts, the official said: “You’ll have to ask Mr. Schiff.”

To paraphrase Schiff, the simple fact that he is “not willing to respond” to “a reasonable request” “raises new basis for our concerns,” particularly given his “history of covering up blatant misconduct.”


Celebrity Doc Drew Pinsky Mulls Run Against Adam Schiff in California

Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky told the Hill Wednesday that he may eventually run for “Shifty” Adam Schiff’s Democrat House seat because the California congressman has become too obsessed with impeachment to do anything about the people dying in his district.

“I wake up every day and drive through this town and I am morally moved where I feel like I have to do something,” said the famed internist, whose full name is David Drew Pinsky.

“I was watching all the impeachment proceedings and I was going, ‘Oh my God, our Congress is tied up and we’re dying out here in California. What are these people doing?’” he complained. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, I have to run for that office at least just to get him to start participating in the governance of this region.’”

The addiction specialist stressed that he was reluctant to run for congress because it would be such a huge step for him.

“Believe me, I don’t want to,” he said. “I’d have to change my whole life, and I’m not really prepared to do that just yet.”

He went on to speculate that he might feel compelled to take the step eventually because the government of Los Angeles County and the state is so broken.

Pinsky said he is “very moderate,” and regularly changes his political party affiliation but if he were he to run in 2020, the doctor would likely do so as a Democrat. He said he would focus on improving infrastructure, homelessness and aiding the chronically mentally ill.

During his YouTube livestream show “Daily Dose of Dr. Drew” Wednesday, Pinsky reiterated that he really didn’t want to run, but “the disaster on the streets of Southern California” was more than he could “live with as a physician.”

Addressing Schiff, he asked, “why are you worried about your political life as opposed to the lives of the people you’re representing?!”

He went on to say that he was encouraged to hear that the governor of the state, Gavin Newsome was calling for $1.4 million to be set aside to deal with the homeless problem.

The likelihood that Pinsky will actually challenge Schiff California’s “jungle primary” appears to be slim.

“The press that’s going out is that ‘oh, he’s going to run for Schiff’s position,'” Pinsky said. “Me—no.”

Regardless of his backtracking, the good doctor said what he said.

“The fact that I keep thinking about it tells me how profound the problems are,” he told the Hill. “That I feel obliged to maybe turn my life upside down just to get things governed out here.”

Schiff has served in the state’s liberal 28th District for 10 terms, winning his 2018 re-election bid with 78 percent of the vote. The deep blue district includes West Hollywood, Burbank, parts of Pasadena, and parts of central Los Angeles.

The notorious leaker has been under increasing fire from Republicans in recent months due to the major parts he played in the Russia collusion hoax, and impeachment inquisition.

Last month, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced that it had filed a lawsuit against Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for information relating to his release of the phone records from President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA), journalist John Solomon, and other Trump allies.

Nunes called Schiff’s move “unprecedented” and “a gross abuse of power.”

“We are seeking records about [Schiff’s] controversial subpoenas that led to his publishing the private phone records of President Trump’s lawyers and other innocent Americans,” Judicial Watch said.

“The lawsuit seeks all subpoenas by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to telephone providers, including, but not limited to, AT&T.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that the lawsuit should serve as “a reminder that Congressman Schiff and Congress are not above the law.”

“Adam Schiff and his Committee ran roughshod over the rule of law in pursuit of the abusive impeachment of President Trump,” Fitton said.


Scuffles Break Out When Protesters Disrupt Schiff Event, Hollering ‘Liar!’ and ‘You’re Going to Jail!’

An event with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was interrupted by protesters over the weekend, leading to scuffles among the attendees.

While Schiff was discussing the passage of a measure that officially recognized the century-old Armenian genocide, a group of Trump supporters angrily confronted him with repeated shouts of “liar!” and “You’re going to jail!”

The event took place at a library in Glendale, California on Saturday, as Democrats are increasingly facing angst from voters over their impeachment charade.

Approximately 15 protesters, donning shirts supporting President Trump, held up signs that said “Don’t impeach,” and continued heckling the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee while other attendees angrily shushed them.

After several minutes of this, scuffles broke out between the Trump supporters and the other attendees, intensifying when one of the protesters broke out a large Trump banner.

“He’s a sick, disgusting man!” a woman hollered as she was being escorted out of the room. The protesters seemed to be followers of a conspiracy theory purporting that Schiff is the ringleader of a pedophile ring.

Three police officers were on the scene to help restore order, according to the Los Angeles Times.  No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.

The event was meant as a show of appreciation to Congress for the passage of a resolution recognizing the genocide of more than 1 million people in Armenia over 100 years ago. The measure was co-sponsored by Schiff.

Two of the protesters insisted that they had nothing against the Armenian people.

“We love the Armenian people,” they said while the officers talked to one of the event organizers.

“We just don’t like them being used by a party because that’s what they do,” the woman explained. “They use people, they separate them, they divide them … that’s how Democrats roll.”

The Trump supporters said that while they were protesting inside, they had been pushed and kicked by some of the attendees.

“We all got pushed and kicked,” the man said. “This one guy said he was going to punch me in the face and I said go ahead and try,” the woman told the officers.

They said they had tickets to attend the event. “I have a right to free speech!” the woman exclaimed.




Nunes Invites Schiff to Release Recordings of His Calls With Giuliani

Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA) Tuesday night invited House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to release the content of his phone calls with Rudy Giuliani last April because he has nothing to hide.

“I don’t know—maybe they have the recordings of my phone calls with Rudy Giuliani,” Nunes told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “They’re welcome to play them because everything I spoke with Rudy Giuliani about is nothing that I wouldn’t care if the American people found out.”

In what Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called a “remarkable abuse” of  President Trump’s constitutional rights, Schiff on Tuesday released phone records of the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani as part of the House Intelligence Committee’s Impeachment report.

Schiff declined to explain how the House obtained the phone records.

Nunes told Hannity that he had spoken with Giuliani after former special counsel Robert Mueller had “completely bombed and flamed out”  and that they had laughed about it.

The special counsel released its Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election on April 18, and prior to that—on March 24—Attorney General William Barr revealed that it found no collusion in a summary of its “principal conclusions.”

The phone records show that the California Republican also spoke with Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who was recently indicted on campaign finance charges, but Nunes said he didn’t remember specifically talking to the Ukrainian-American. According to Hannity, at least three out of the four calls with Parnas were actually between Nunes and Giuliani, who was using Parnas’ phone.

Nunes explained that because the Intelligence Committee provides oversight, members have Americans and foreigners contacting them every day with information and that it was “possible” that he spoke with Parnas.

“I haven’t gone through all my phone records,” he said. “But it seems very unlikely that I would be taking calls from random people.” He also questioned why CNN would rely on the word of an indicted scam artist for their stories.

Nunes is suing CNN over its report—based on Parnas’ claims— that he secretly traveled to Vienna last year to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to “dig up dirt on Biden.” Nunes told Hannity that he has been clear from the moment the story came out that it was “demonstrably false,” saying he was actually in Benghazi, Libya and Malta during the time CNN reported he was in Vienna.

“Anything we have from Parnas and his lawyers—any game that they’re up to—we’re going to work directly with the Justice Department to make sure that these guys aren’t just trying to obstruct justice, to obstruct our congressional investigation, or to lie to Congress,” Nunes said.

The congressman, who is asking for more than $435 million in compensatory and punitive damages in his lawsuit against CNN, pointed out that Democrats could have corrected CNN because they have his travel records. Instead, they sat back and allowed Nunes to be smeared.

“They wanted that story to be printed,” he fumed.