Schiff Faces Critics from Both Parties Over Handling of Trump Impeachment Probe

Sunday, 06 Oct, 2019

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff knew more about the makings of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump than he let on, according to reporting from the New York Times.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly tried to cast doubt on the first whistleblower's credibility, claiming that he or she only had "second hand information".

"We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower", Schiff said on MSNBC.

The inspector general, Michael Atkinson, briefed lawmakers privately on Friday about how he substantiated the whistle-blower's account. The Federalist, for instance, published an article accusing the whistleblower of colluding with House Democrats before filing the complaint.

"Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a US election".

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told The Wall Street Journal in a Friday interview that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told him the U.S. was tying military aid to Ukraine and Trump's request for an investigation related to the 2016 presidential election.

Schiff, a California Democrat, announced that Atkinson would appear before the panel in a "Dear Colleague" letter last week updating lawmakers on the next steps in the ongoing investigation.

"We would like to, but I'm sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised as the law requires by the inspector general or the director of national intelligence just as to how he is to communicate with Congress".

The China remarks stiffened the resolve of Democrats in the House of Representatives to push ahead with an inquiry into whether Trump should be impeached following revelations by an anonymous whistleblower who said Trump asked Ukraine in July to investigate the Bidens.

The committee aide then directed the whistleblower to Mr. Atkinson, which is standard protocol.

Quigley said it was his understanding that the negotiations involved the whistleblower's legal and physical protection.

The Washington Post article said it is not uncommon for the House Intelligence Committee to receive informal inquiries from whistleblowers before a formal complaint is filed, according to "current and former committee staffers". But you know what happened today is even more insightful. With these assurances, others with relevant information would hopefully be encouraged to speak up about wrongdoing they have observed.

Trump did ask Zelensky to open up the investigations, but there is no explicit quid pro quo in the phone call transcript. The president has additionally singled out his sources, saying that they have been "near a spy."I wish to know who's the one who gave the whistleblower the knowledge as a result of that's near a spy", Trump informed staffers on the USA mission to the United Nations." what we used to do within the outdated days once we have been good with spies and treason, proper?"

The spokesman pointed to an interview with Schiff by the Daily Beast, in which he said that he "did not know definitively at the time if the complaint had been authored by the same whistleblower who had approached his staff".

Trump has denied pressuring Zelensky to open the investigations.

We also reached out to Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the Central Intelligence Agency officer. Rather than investigate a matter that obviously has merit, Justice Department officials are apparently willing to look the other way. Furthermore, as with the Russian Federation investigation, one could make an argument that there ought to be a Special Counsel appointed to investigate this matter. This is John Mitchell all over again, and it's inexcusable.