Schiff And NYT Do Damage Control Over Sneak Peek At CIA Whistleblower Complaint; Trump Says Schiff Wrote It

Oct. 02, 2019

While President Trump is now accusing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of 'helping to write' a CIA whistleblower's complaint at the heart of an impeachment inquiry, the New York Times is out with a Wednesday article designed to put distance between the House Intelligence Committee Chairman and the accusation - suggesting Schiff had no more than a vague sneak peek.

As The Times reports, "The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint," adding "the original accusation was vague," and "The aide did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff or anyone else."

So - according to the Times, Schiff kinda sorta knew what the whistleblower said, and a House Intel Committee aide told him (or her) to get an attorney - Andrew Bakaj - who "interned for Schumer in the spring of 2001 and for Clinton in the fall of the same year," per The Federalist.

The Times goes to great lengths to explain that nothing was untoward.

"Like other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community," said Schiff spokesman Patrick Boland.

Trump, meanwhile, is gunning for Schiff.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump said Mr. Schiff should be forced to resign for reading a parody of the Ukraine call at a hearing, an act Mr. Trump has called treasonous and criminal.

“We don’t call him shifty Schiff for nothing,” said Mr. Trump. “He’s a shifty dishonest guy.”

Mr. Schiff’s aides followed procedures involving the C.I.A. officer’s accusations, Mr. Boland said. They referred the C.I.A. officer to the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, and advised him to seek legal counsel.

Mr. Schiff never saw the full complaint or knew precisely what the whistle-blower would deliver to Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Boland said. -NYT
GOP spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington, meanwhile, responded to the Times' article - calling the whistleblower saga 'COLLUSION' and a 'CON JOB' in a Wednesday afternoon tweet.

Finally, if this process seems vaguely familiar, it's because it should be: as the Federalist's Sean Davis writes, this is a carbon copy of what happened with Christine Blasey Ford's accusations aimed at sabotaging Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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