Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) demanded that the Senate subpoena additional witnesses and documents Wednesday — after declaring that he would not reveal the “whistleblower.”
Schiff later said that he would not release the transcript of an interview with the Intelligence Committee Inspector General (ICIG) about the way in which the so-called “whistleblower’s” initial complaint was handled.
Schiff’s contradictory responses came in response to questions from Republican Senators in the question-and-answer portion of the Senate impeachment trial.
Schiff was first pinned down by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a question about the standard or “abuse of power.” They asked a hypothetical about President Barack Obama asking for an investigation about one of then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s sons in 2012.
He used a familiar tactic of misquoting the Ukraine call transcript, saying, “Do me a favor.”
Schiff then declared that a president should never ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate a political rival.
White House lawyer Jay Sekulow pointed out later that was exactly what President Barack Obama’s DOJ did to then-candidate Donald Trump in Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee with Schiff, noted the contradiction:
What a stunning turn of events today to hear Adam Schiff declare from the well of the United States Senate that it is impeachable for a sitting President to allow the Department of Justice to investigate a political rival’s campaign
2016. Crossfire Hurricane.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 29, 2020
But it was Schiff’s attempt to deflect questions about the whistleblower and the ICIG transcript that may prove most consequential, as Republicans decide whether to call for more witnesses and documents.
Democrats have repeated the refrain that a “fair trial” demands documents and witnesses.
However, they want to choose the documents and witnesses for both sides.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.