The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President [Donald] Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint,” reports The New York Times in a blockbuster story that undermines what little credibility Schiff had left.
Schiff and his PR team at the Times are building his defense in this matter around the assertion that the congressman never met with the whistleblower. Schiff asserted numerous times before Wednesday that he did not know about the complaint before the inspector general of the intelligence community (IGIC) notified his committee. He asserted on Sept. 17, when news of the complaint first surfaced, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” And according to Schiff’s intelligence committee spokesman, “At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance.”
Those smokescreen denials sound quite similar to the claims of the whistleblower’s attorney, Mark Zaid: “I can unequivocally state that neither any member of the legal team nor the whistleblower has ever met or spoken with Congressman Schiff about this matter.”
Thanks to the Times, however, we now know this is a lie. And by Schiff’s spokesperson’s own admission, the congressman’s office referred the whistleblower to the IGIC.