If Adam Schiff is any indication, Democrats expect President Donald Trump to be around for a while.
The House Intelligence Committee chairman, fresh out of self-isolation and champing for the public attention another attack on the Trump administration will bring, tacitly announced Tuesday that he’s planning yet another investigation into the executive branch.
This time he’s looking into Trump’s firing last week of the inspector general whose apparently credulous reading of a complaint filed in August by a “whistleblower” that led to Trump’s impeachment in December helped spark the whole affair.
In a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Schiff stated that because there was no reason for Trump to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the House Intelligence Committee is “reviewing the circumstances of Mr. Atkinson’s dismissal, including whether his termination was intended to curb any ongoing investigations or reviews being undertaken by his office.”
A look at Twitter shows the letter was available to just about every reporter on Capitol Hill who might have been interested in posting it:
NEWS: Adam Schiff sends letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell saying he’s concerned that Grenell is “pursuing organizational and personnel changes” without consulting Congress pic.twitter.com/kvCaxAp0Rj
— Alayna Treene (@alaynatreene) April 7, 2020
JUST IN: SCHIFF is demanding the Ric Grenell, Trump’s top intelligence official, provide a slew of details about his management of IC by April 16.
In a 4-page letter, Schiff expresses concerns that Grenell, an acting official, has made sweeping organizational changes. pic.twitter.com/SzDbggK0t9
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) April 7, 2020
In a letter today today to acting DNI Richard Grenell, Schiff says he is investigating whether Intelligence IG Atkinson’s firing “was intended to curb any ongoing investigations or reviews” by the IG’s office and asks Grenell if he has tried to obstruct investigations. pic.twitter.com/FhHdRyX9cg
— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) April 7, 2020
That’s because, as one intelligence official told The Daily Caller, Schiff sent it to the media before he sent it to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
That might give the American people some idea of who the real intended audience for Schiff’s latest shenanigans really is. It’s also a point of frustration for the ODNI staff, the official told The Daily Caller.
“The staffers are so sick and tired of [Schiff] politicizing the intelligence community for his own gain,” the official said, according to The Daily Caller.
“Notice how he sent the letter to the media before he sent it to ODNI.”
Well, that would fit the pattern of behavior Schiff and his fellow Democrats established from the time the 116th Congress opened, with the Democratic House majority that was elected in the 2018 midterms.
With nothing of substance to attack Trump on, the political strategy of Democrats during the Trump presidency has been a series of attention-grabbing stunts, from the now-all-but-forgotten fights over the Mueller report to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s disastrous appearance on Capitol Hill in person in July, to the melodramatic impeachment inquiry of the fall to the appalling amateurism of the impeachment trial in the winter.
With the letter Tuesday, Schiff gave notice to the media (of course) and to the Trump administration that yet another pointless battle on Capitol Hill is in the offing.
This time it’s over the president’s decision to get rid of the man who deemed the complaint of a “whistleblower” a matter of “urgent concern,” when later events proved the matter was of “urgent concern” mainly to Democrats looking for a way to get Trump out of office.
Those two facts about CIA analyst and suspected whistleblower Eric Ciaramella, among others, should have been enough for anyone worthy of the job of emptying trash cans for the national intelligence community to know that the complaint wasn’t worth the paper it took to print it.
A man who actually held the rank of intelligence community inspector general should have been well aware of these facts and taken them into account when determining how seriously any complaint from such a source should be taken.
The fact that the self-evidently spurious complaint actually resulted in the impeachment of a United States president is proof enough that the inspector general who gave it his de facto blessing doesn’t belong in the job — either because of political bias or sheer naivete.
(If a conniving congressman like Adam Schiff can manipulate an intelligence community inspector general, it’s a pretty good bet the real pros in the Russian GRU could do the same without breaking a sweat.)
So, Schiff is launching at least one more unwarranted investigation into the Trump administration — and his “leaked” letter to Grenell hints at two more potential investigations into the ODNI’s handling of personnel and information about election security.
Considering the country is facing some real problems now, and considering that Schiff hasn’t exactly established a record of competence, he’s the last person who should be trying to draw attention to himself.
And still he persists.
That’s bad news for the country, but from a strictly political point of view, it’s likely good news for Trump and his supporters.
If Schiff and Democratic heavyweights like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer thought there was a serious chance that former Vice President Joe Biden, their party’s presumptive nominee in the 2020 election, could really unseat Trump, they wouldn’t be bothering with this kind of ankle-biting malice.
But they see the polls.
They see Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis in the face of a ludicrously biased mainstream media.
They see what kind of defeat is very likely coming to their party come the November elections.
If this letter is any indication, Adam Schiff expects Trump to be around for a while.
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