Did Commissar Schiff employ KGB tactics to spy on his rivals as well as Trump?
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff is one reflexive liar, constantly caught in the act of stating one thing and being caught doing another. He coordinated with the so-called whistleblower for impeachment of President Trump and then denied he did it. He said he had the goods to sink Trump from the Mueller report...and didn't. The list goes on.
So now his denial of ever subpoenaing the phone records of his Republican counterpart, Rep. Devin Nunes; one of Nunes's aides; and reporter John Solomon (as well as those of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his Ukrainian client named Lev Parnas) is worth looking at.
Power Line's Scott Johnson interpreted the apparent spying as evidence that Schiff got the phone data from his subpoenas of the Giuliani and Parnas phone records in the impeachment report, and yes, Johnson, unlike Schiff, is credible, so I was inclined to accept his take earlier.
But other reports suggest that Schiff is lying, spying on his rivals, doing it with subpoenas, putting the Soviet KGB to shame.
The Wall Street Journal, for one, dug deeper and reported an undisclosed source saying that yes, Schiff did indeed issue subpoenas to spy on Trump's lawyers, as well as his own political counterparts, and inconvenient reporters like Solomon. I'll bet Kimberley Strassel wrote that one:
This is unprecedented and looks like an abuse of government surveillance authority for partisan gain. Democrats were caught using the Steele dossier to coax the FBI into snooping on the 2016 Trump campaign. Now we have elected members of Congress using secret subpoenas to obtain, and then release to the public, the call records of political opponents.
Our sources says [sic] Mr. Schiff issued a subpoena in September to AT&T, demanding call logs for five numbers — including Mr. Giuliani's. Subsequent subpoenas to AT&T and Verizon demanded more details. Republicans were told of the subpoenas, yet under rules of committee secrecy couldn't raise public objections.
Readers may recall that only a few years ago Democrats were in high dudgeon over the executive branch's collection of metadata against terrorists. They claimed the National Security Agency was "spying" on Americans, and in 2015 Congress barred NSA from collecting bulk domestic metadata. Federal investigators must offer legitimate reasons to obtain metadata from telecom companies, and they are subject to restrictions on divulging it.
Yet here the companies appear to have handed over metadata based on little more than Mr. Schiff's say-so —a nd in AT&T's case in response to a request that was made before the House began a formal impeachment inquiry.
AT&T released a statement Wednesday saying it is "required by law to provide information to government and law enforcement agencies."
The fact that AT&T tried to extricate itself from controversy instead of just deny that it forked over any subpoena records relating to Devin Nunes and others suggests something damning going on, too.
For now, it comes down to whom you believe — Schiff or the Journal, which probably fact-checked the hell out of that bombshell detail about the subpoenas before printing it.
Schiff says he spied on only Giuliani and Parnas. The Journal said he was issuing subpoenas about everyone who might have roadblocked him in his Ahab-like monomania in attempting to snare President Trump.
More questions and inquiries on this are worth pursuing. Because Commissar Schiff is pretty well capable of anything.
Image credit: BlazeTV via YouTube screen shot.