Adam Schiff should be feeling the pressure.
Fed up with the House Intelligence Committee Chairman’s Soviet-like secrecy when it comes to the “Russia collusion” probe, Rep. Jim Jordan and 26 other GOP representatives are demanding Schiff release transcripts of interviews the intelligence committee conducted as part of its investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and the 2016 election.
After 16 months of a Democratic majority rule in the House, according to Fox News, Jordan and his fellow Republicans say it’s time for the American public to learn what the House intelligence committee already knows about the probe that threatened the presidency.
Specifically, they’re demanding the transcripts of 53 interviews the intelligence committee already voted to release back in 2018 – before the midterm elections put Democrats in control of the House and Schiff in control of one of its most important panels.
The American people deserve transparency. pic.twitter.com/i63QSIs2S3
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 5, 2020
The letter comes as other media outlets and public figures — like the Wall Street Journal and Donald Trump Jr. — have demanded the transcripts’ release.
According to the Washington Examiner, it comes only a day after Jordan wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding an explanation for the bureau’s handling of its investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, as more disturbing information has come to light.
As the invaluable Andrew McCarthy wrote at National Review on Saturday, newly released documents show the FBI targeted Flynn in particular. The goal, McCarthy wrote, was to sideline the career Army officer to make it easier for anti-Trump zealots to attack the administration.
The new letter states that the intelligence committee issued a report in March 2018 “finding that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia.”
In September 2018, according to an Associated Press article from the time, the committee voted to release the transcripts publicly.
Yet almost two years later, the transcripts remain out of public view.
“We understand now that Chairman Schiff is blocking the release of these transcripts,” the Republican representatives’ letter stated. “This news, if accurate, is disturbing — especially in light of Chairman Schiff’s cries in 2019 for transparency regarding allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
“For almost four years, prominent Democrat politicians and commentators alleged that President Trump colluded with Russia, with Chairman Schiff going so far as to say that he had ‘direct evidence’ of collusion. Now that these allegations have been disproven by several investigations, the American people deserve to have transparency about why public figures such as Chairman Schiff continue to promote such wild accusations.”
Oh, the American people – the sane ones anyway – have a pretty good guess why “public figures such as Chairman Schiff” keep pushing the empty accusations.
This is a Democratic Party that was so outraged at losing an election it thought was in the bag that it has truly never accepted the will of the American people as expressed through the Constitution.
Clinging to the irrelevant argument that Democrat Hillary Clinton “won” the popular vote in 2016, Democrats and their media allies have spent the entirety of Trump’s term in office disparaging his legitimacy as a duly elected president.
That’s why they’ve kept up the pretense of the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory, long after the Mueller report and special counsel Robert Mueller’s disastrous appearance on Capitol Hill last summer should have put it to rest in well-deserved ignominy.
And it’s likely why Schiff has refused to release the transcripts – which include interviews with such key insiders as Trump Jr. They almost certainly show just how empty the whole “Russia collusion” story was from the beginning.
Schiff is the man, remember, who told CNN’s Dana Bash in February 2019 that there was evidence of Trump-Russia collusion “in plain sight.” Yet more than a year later that evidence remains completely out of sight.
If that evidence was in the interview transcripts Jordan and his colleagues are seeking, it’s a solid bet that Schiff would have papered the District of Columbia with them.
Instead, he’s blocking them from ever seeing the light of day.
Now, Jordan and his colleagues, members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, are putting the dispute in the public eye.
“We hope you will follow through on the September 2018 HPSCI vote and release the 53 transcripts,” the letter states near the end. “Short of full disclosure, however, we require access to the material for our ongoing oversight of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The chances of Schiff’s complying are about as good as the chances of Schiff telling the truth about his collusion “evidence,” or about the identity of the “whistleblower” who sparked the spurious impeachment trial over the winter – which is to say, zero.
But the chances are very good that, as the Flynn case comes apart, and renewed attention comes to the interview transcripts he’s trying to block, Adam Schiff is feeling pressure like he hasn’t before.
And if he isn’t, he should be. And heading into the November election, he should get used to it.
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