With the November elections just three months away, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is once again assisting and amplifying a foreign influence operation meant to divide Congress and the American people, multiple lawmakers told The Federalist on Wednesday. Schiff’s latest antic was calling a surprise hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) to vote on making Schiff’s classified allegations against congressional Republicans available for review to the entire House of Representatives. The vote passed on party lines.
At issue is a packet of information that was allegedly sent to several Republicans by Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach. Derkach, who graduated from the academy that trains Russian intelligence agents, told Politico last week that his goal was to “creat[e] an inter-parliamentary association called ‘Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption.’” In addition to forwarding his packages to several Republican lawmakers, Derkach said he sent the same materials to several Democrats as well.
A HPSCI official told The Federalist that committee Republicans have strict procedures for screening and handling any and all information that comes to the committee from foreign sources.
“If we receive a suspicious package, our standard operating procedure is to give it to the appropriate authorities without opening it and without any members seeing the contents,” the official said. “That’s what we do for all suspicious packages.”
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Schiff was a key driver of the Russian collusion hoax during and after the 2016 presidential election, and falsely alleged that Donald Trump was a secret Kremlin agent working with Russian president Vladimir Putin to steal the election from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded after a multi-year investigation of the allegations that there was no evidence of any collusion between Trump and Russia.
Christopher Steele, the foreign author of the infamous dossier of anti-Trump allegations, worked on behalf of sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at the same time he was being funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to peddle unsubstantiated accusations against Trump. Although Schiff repeatedly claimed that he had smoking gun evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government, declassified transcripts of testimony before his committee revealed that none of the scores of witnesses he called to testify ever provided any evidence of collusion.
“They always want to compare this to 2016, but they’re the ones who conspired with Russians to interfere in the 2016 election, and they’re doing it again,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on HPSCI, told The Federalist on Wednesday in response to Schiff’s latest collusion gambit. “This craziness does nothing but benefit Moscow.”
“What the Russians do all over the globe is try to sow discord in any country they can,” Nunes said. “But Putin doesn’t even have to do anything here, because these idiots do it themselves for him.”
“They keep chasing Russian ghosts, when they’re the ones who were behind the whole effort in 2016 to falsely accuse Trump of collusion,” Nunes added.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) told The Federalist that Schiff could simply not be trusted to tell the truth about anything after his participation in the collusion hoax.
“Democrats are trying to relive 2016 again and create this false narrative that somehow Trump and now members of Congress are colluding with the Russians and Ukrainians to interfere in the election,” Stewart said. “Schiff knowingly sought to deceive the American people. He said things he knew were not true, and this is a continuation of that.”
Schiff repeatedly lied about the basis of surveillance warrants used to spy on Trump campaign affiliates even though he had access to the underlying documents that proved the Obama administration used bogus information funded by the Clinton campaign to justify spy warrants against former Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page.
“If Maduro in Venezuela or the mullahs in Iran supported Trump, do they really think saying that publicly would help him?” Stewart asked. “And the same is true of Putin. Creating the impression that he wanted to help Trump would do the exact opposite, and yet this is what Democrats want the American people to believe.”
“Franky, it’s nuts,” he concluded.
Stewart and Nunes weren’t alone in their distrust of Schiff.
“Whether he knows it or not, Adam Schiff is Vladimir Putin’s marionette right now,” Dr. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), who also serves on HPSCI, told The Federalist. “Everything he’s doing is dividing us as Americans. Maybe Schiff knows he’s a puppet of Putin and that’s why he does this, or maybe he just can’t see the effects of his actions.”
“There’s so much irony here when you consider that it’s the Democrats who colluded with Russians in 2016,” Wenstrup added. “Let’s not forget the episode of Schiff trying to acquire nude pictures of Donald Trump from people he thought were Russians but were actually comedians.”
In 2018, Schiff was caught colluding with Russians to obtain naked pictures of Trump. What Schiff didn’t know at the time was that he was being pranked by two Russian comedians. Schiff is heard in the audiotape of the conversation asking the Russians if they could provide the photos and any other recordings they might have of Trump to Schiff’s committee.
“Obviously we would welcome the chance to get copies of those recordings,” Schiff told the Russians.
Wenstrup, an Army doctor, also blasted Schiff for his history of leaking classified information for political gain.
“As a military person, the leaks that have come out of this committee have been appalling to me, and Schiff doesn’t seem to care,” Wenstrup said.
Current and former intelligence officials echoed Wenstrup’s criticisms of Schiff’s leaking of classified information.
“Schiff’s claims that Republicans are somehow jeopardizing sources and methods are just hyperbole,” one top intelligence official told The Federalist. “What’s really killing us in the field are Schiff’s constant leaks of classified information.”