In the shadowy world of Adam Schiff, even the threats are veiled.
The California Democrat currently disgracing himself and embarrassing his party as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee circulated an equally embarrassing warning to his Republican colleagues this week, aimed at protecting the worst kept secret in Washington.
The name of Eric Ciaramella, the CIA intelligence analyst widely suspected of being the “whistleblower” behind the whole impeachment effort, was not to be mentioned.
The warning came in the form of a memo from Schiff to the Intelligence Committee members, insinuating Schiff could make real trouble with the House Ethics Committee for any representative who even thought about revealing Ciaramella’s name in public.
But Schiff being Schiff, the threat was also couched in language he can always deny.
In the memo, Schiff described the committee’s history with whistleblowers: “The Committee has a long, proud, and bipartisan history of protecting whistleblowers — including from efforts to threaten, intimidate, retaliate against, or undermine the confidentiality of whistleblowers.”
Then he got down to business, noting that the House Ethics Committee (controlled, by Democrats, like everything else in the House) would not be kind to any lawmaker who might decide to blab the name “Eric Ciaramella” during the course of the proceedings.
Use of the name would apparently be taken as a willful violation of the rule that members “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
“The Committee on Ethics has historically viewed this provision as ‘encompassing violations of law and abuses of one’s official position,’” Schiff wrote.
As The Daily Caller and Politico described it, Schiff was issuing a threat that every congressman could understand: Use the whistleblower’s name and you’ll be facing a House Ethics Committee investigation.
“Schiff warns GOP that outing Trump whistleblower could violate ethics rules,” Politico headlined its story.
“Schiff Warns GOP: Name Whistleblower In Public Hearings, And Face Possible Ethics Probe,” The Daily Caller put it, more explicitly.
Naturally, there’s no small amount of irony here.
This is Adam Schiff talking about ethics? Even in the odious company of Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic conference, Schiff stands out as a walking violation of the rule that members “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
(The fact that guys like Schiff and New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler are on Pelosi’s side, while conservatives have stand-up reps like Jim Jordan, and Doug Collins and Dan Crenshaw should give every Republican reason to hope.)
Schiff is already the subject of three ethics complaints of his own stemming from his behavior both before and after Democrats took over the House in the 2018 midterms, and his dishonesty on the matter of the “whistleblower” alone would be enough to bring discredit on the House, if the establishment media were at all interested in dishonesty among Democrats.
Yet, as hypocritical as any liberal, he has the gall to threaten an Ethics Committee investigation against any member of the Intelligence Committee who utters a name that probably every bartender and cab driver in the District of Columbia is familiar with.
Since that name was revealed by investigative journalist Paul Sperry at RealClearInvestigations, it’s become general, if generally tacit, knowledge.
It’s been used on Fox News — despite a network-wide ban.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin has used it both on the air and on his website.
Numerous conservative news outlets, including The Western Journal, have used the name.
Yet in the world of Washington, where what Adam Schiff says actually carries some weight, lawmakers are being warned not to speak the plain truth.
The warnings are veiled, of course. Because for the likes of Adam Schiff, everything is.
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