“In the days leading up to last week’s release of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff implied that he was unaware of the substance of the allegations in the document, which centered on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.
But a report from The New York Times on Wednesday raises news questions about Schiff’s claims.
According to the newspaper, Schiff had a general idea of the substance of the complaint by the time it was filed on Aug. 12. That’s because the would-be whistleblower approached a Schiff aide on the House Intelligence Committee. In turn, the aide directed the individual to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG), and briefed Schiff on the subject of the complaint.
Schiff and his staff “knew at least vaguely” what was in the complaint when it was filed, according to The Times.
But Schiff played coy for weeks when discussing the mysterious complaint. During his many interviews about the allegations against Trump, he did not reveal that his office had been in contact with the whistleblower or that he had any awareness of the person’s allegations.
In a Sept. 19 press conference, he suggested that he did not know what the whistleblower was alleging. He also asserted that he might not even know that a complaint had been filed if Michael Atkinson, the IC IG, had not contacted Congress earlier last month regarding the complaint.
“In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern,” Schiff said during a press briefing on Sept. 19.
Schiff left out the part about his staff member directing the whistleblower to contact the IC IG in the first place.
On Sunday, September 30, 2019, Nancy Pelosi appears CBS 60 Minutes and says the following:
“He told me it was perfect, that there was nothing on the call,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” referring to a conversation she had with President Trump before the Trump administration released the transcript.
“But I know what was in the call,” Pelosi continued, before quickly adding, “I mean, uh, it was in the public domain.”
(Read more: Sarah Carter, 9/30/2019)