A spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, came out and said for the first time, that the whistleblower alleging misconduct in the White House had reached out to Schiff’s panel prior to filing the complaint.
Schiff had previously claimed in a televised interview that “we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.”
A rightfully frustrated Trump went on a tirade after hearing the news about Schiff, leading to the President calling out the fact that Schiff may have helped write the complaint.
“It shows that Schiff is a fraud. … I think it’s a scandal that he knew before,” Trump said. “I’d go a step further. I’d say he probably helped write it. … That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it too. It’s a scam.”
Trump characterized Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “fraudulent crime on the American people.” Earlier in the day, Trump described the inquiry as “BULLSHIT,” and mocked Schiff as a partisan “lowlife.”
At the press conference, Trump stated that he had never seen anything like what Schiff had done by making up his own version of the transcript, suggesting that the Democrat had a “mental breakdown.” Trump added that he believes Schiff committed a crime by reciting an inaccurate, exaggerated version of a transcript of Trump’s fateful July call with Ukraine’s leader. Schiff himself later claimed was a “parody.”
The New York Times first broke the story that Schiff “learned about the outlines” of the whistleblower’s complaint “DAYS before” it was filed.
When speaking to Fox News, Schiff’s office denied that the intelligence committee had reviewed or received the complaint in advance, but largely confirmed the Times’ reporting.
“Like other whistleblowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled Committees, the whistleblower contacted the Committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the Intelligence Community,” Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News.
“This is a regular occurrence, given the Committee’s unique oversight role and responsibilities. Consistent with the Committee’s longstanding procedures, Committee staff appropriately advised the whistleblower to contact an Inspector General and to seek legal counsel.”
Other GOP sources told Fox News that the development was unsettling and undermined the integrity of the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry.
Republicans have suggested other Democrats besides Schiff may have had advance notice after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s head-turning comments during a televised interview on Sunday.
“He told me it was perfect, that there was nothing on the call,” Pelosi said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” referring to a conversation she had with President Trump before the Trump administration released either a transcript of his July phone call with Ukraine’s leader or the whistleblower’s complaint.
“But, I know what was in the call,” Pelosi continued, before quickly back-peddling, “I mean, uh, it was in the public domain.”
Pelosi’s remark drew scrutiny from Republicans because no verbatim account of Trump’s call had yet been made publicly available.
According to the watchdog, the whistleblower “checked two relevant boxes” on the form: One stating, “I have personal and/or direct knowledge of events or records involved”; and the other box stating, “Other employees have told me about events or records involved.”
However, the declassified whistleblower complaint sent to Congress last week stated: “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another.”
As more time passes, more cracks are exposed in the whistleblower report, and with it, the Democrats impeachment campaign against President Trump as well.