House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) did not notify Republicans on the committee of an intelligence official who came to one of his aides with concerns about President Trump before filing an official whistleblower complaint, according to the top Republican on the committee.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said in a statement:
We learn from the press today that Chm Schiff had prior knowledge and involvement in the [whistleblower] complaint. He withheld this info from the American people and even from the Intel Cmte. In light of this news, it’s hard to view impeachment as anything aside from an orchestrated farce.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY), another Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed Schiff kept the information from Republicans and called upon him to step down. She tweeted:
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Re-upping my tweet from last week given the breaking news today that Adam Schiff had early access to the whistleblower & DID NOT share it with his own committee – instead he manipulated this information & played partisan political games. He should immediately step down as Chair.
Re-upping my tweet from last week given the breaking news today that Adam Schiff had early access to the whistleblower & DID NOT share it with his own committee – instead he manipulated this information & played partisan political games. He should immediately step down as Chair. https://t.co/809PzeUjBs
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) October 2, 2019
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Fred Fleitz, former CIA analyst and chief of staff to the National Security Council, said Schiff broke committee rules in hiding that information from Republicans.
“Under @HouseIntelComm rules, any classified info brought to the committee from outside sources MUST BE SHARED WITH BOTH SIDES. Schiff broke committee rules by not telling committee GOP members about this,” tweeted Fleitz, who once worked as a staffer on the House Intelligence Committee. He added:
This is a very serious violation of @HouseIntelComm rules. Why did Schiff do this, especially when he was using this information to score political points throughout the month of August? The reason is clear: it was part of a the latest Dem ploy to take down @realDonaldTrump.
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7/ This is a very serious violation of @HouseIntelComm rules. Why did Schiff do this, especially when he was using this information to score political points throughout the month of August? The reason is clear: it was part of the latest Dem ploy to take down @realDonaldTrump
— Fred Fleitz (@FredFleitz) October 2, 2019
The New York Times on Wednesday reported that the so-called whistleblower, a CIA official, went with concerns about Trump to one of Schiff’s aides before he went to the inspector general to file a whistleblower complaint.
Indeed, the Times report revealed that Schiff’s aide had informed Schiff about the official’s concerns, and advised the whistleblower to get legal help and file an official whistleblower complaint with the intelligence community inspector general.
Schiff had claimed previously that the committee did not speak to the whistleblower before the complaint was filed. His spokesperson later said he meant that he personally did not speak to the whistleblower.
The CIA official’s concerns involved, among other things, a classified phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
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Ironically, Schiff demanded in March 2017 that Nunes recuse himself from the Russia investigation after he shared information he learned about Trump transition team members being spied on with reporters instead of with Democrats on the committee first.
Story cited here.