House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) made a highly suspect claim about the CIA whistleblower on Wednesday during House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry hearing. Schiff asserted that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower.
“You are the only member [of Congress] who knows who that individual is and your staff is the only staff of any member of Congress that has had that chance to talk with that individual,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said to Schiff. “We would like opportunity. When might that happen in this proceeding today?”
“That’s a false statement, I do not know the identity of the whistleblower,” Schiff responded.
Democrat Chairman Adam Schiff: "I do not know the identity of the whistleblower"
Schiff has repeatedly falsely claimed that his team has not spoken to the whistleblower
The Washington Post debunked Schiff's false claim, giving him "4 Pinocchios" for his lie pic.twitter.com/QWmxblWSxd
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 13, 2019
Schiff’s claim is questionable given numerous past statements that he has made, news reports, and fact-checks on his past statements.
On September 17, Schiff told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”
A Washington Post fact-check awarded Schiff’s claim with “Four Pinocchios,” the worst possible rating that any claim can be awarded — suggesting that the statement is a blatant lie.
“This is flat-out false,” The Post wrote. “Schiff simply says the committee had not spoken to the whistleblower. Now we know that’s not true.”
In early October, reports emerged that Schiff had hired two former National Security Council (NSC) aides who previously worked with the whistleblower. The Washington Examiner reported:
Abigail Grace, who worked at the NSC until 2018, was hired in February, while Sean Misko, an NSC aide until 2017, joined Schiff’s committee staff in August, the same month the whistleblower submitted his complaint. …
… Grace, 36, was hired to help Schiff’s committee investigate the Trump White House. That month, Trump accused Schiff of “stealing people who work at White House.” Grace worked at the NSC from 2016 to 2018 in U.S.-China relations and then briefly at the Center for a New American Security think tank, which was founded by two former senior Obama administration officials. …
… Misko, 37, worked in the Obama administration as a member of the secretary of state’s policy planning staff under deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, who became Hillary Clinton’s top foreign policy official during her 2016 presidential campaign. In 2015, Misko was the director for the Gulf states at the NSC, remaining there into the Trump administration’s first year.
The Examiner noted that Misko reportedly had problems working in the Trump administration, as a source told the Examiner: “There were a few times where documents had been signed off for final editing before they go to the national security adviser for signature. And he actually went in and made changes after those changes were already finished. So he basically tried to insert, without his boss’ approval.”
“There were meetings in which he protested very heavily, and next thing you know, there’s an article in the paper about the contents of that meeting,” the source added.
Schiff’s credibility was further damaged when he fabricated quotes from Trump’s phone call during a congressional hearing in October and was later forced to apologize.