House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) previously claimed his panel had “not spoken directly” with a federal bureaucrat alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump regarding Ukraine — yet a Wednesday report reveals he received an early account of the allegations from a committee staffer who spoke to the so-called “whistleblower.”
The New York Times revealed the”whistleblower” — who the paper has said is a CIA officer — initially directed a colleague to discuss his allegations with the agency’s top lawyer. Shortly after, the Deep Stater contacted a House Intelligence panel aide to convey secondhand details of the Trump-Zelensky call in which the world leaders discussed U.S. military aid and the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and 2020 White House candidate Joe Biden. According to the Times, the staffer some of the officer’s concerns with Schiff but did not reveal his identity.
🚨 FLASHBACK 🚨
Schiff claimed: “We have not spoken directly with the Whistleblower” pic.twitter.com/czqCvE3hSF
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 2, 2019
All this purportedly happened before the complaint was filed on August 12. However, in what appears to be a direct contradiction of the Times report, Schiff told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on September 17: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.”
“We would like to,” he continued. “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.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Schiff attempted to downplay the Times’ revelations, saying it is common practice for whistleblowers to consult Congress as to how to proceed with a complaint.
“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,” Patrick Boland, Schiff’s spokesman said. “[A]t no point did the Committee review or receive the complaint in advance… The Committee did not receive the complaint until the night before the Acting Director of National Intelligence’s open hearing before the Committee.”
Schiff’s own verified social media account seemingly confirmed the Times report Wednesday afternoon, writing that “staff” are supposed to give “guidance” to federal employees seeking to file complaints.
When a whistleblower seeks guidance, staff advises them to get counsel and go to an IG.
That’s what they’re supposed to do.
Unlike a president pressing a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent.
That’s not what a president is supposed to do.
And we all know it. https://t.co/dzVAFGpMen
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 2, 2019
Later Wednesday, President Trump responded to the Times‘ report revealing Schiff had advanced knowledge of the so-called “whistleblower” complaint, saying it shows the California Democrat is a “fraud.”
“I think it’s a scandal that he knew before. I would go a step further: I think he probably helped write it,” said the president.
“That whistleblower, there’s no question in my mind that some bad things have gone on and I think we’ll get to the bottom of it,” he added.