And we should believe Adam Schiff because of, er, his long track record of honesty about his contacts with the whistleblower? Come on, man. The chair of the impeachment inquiry hearings accused Rep. Jim Jordan of issuing a “false statement” in claiming that he knew the identity of the whistleblower. After getting four Pinocchios from the Washington Post for lying about contacts between his office and the whistleblower, Schiff’s hardly in position to complain — or to be taken at his word:
“The only times I prevented witnesses from answering questions” in prior closed-door hearings “was when it was apparent that members were seeking to out the whistleblower,” Schiff responded.
“We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower’s identity, and I’m disturbed to hear members of the committee who have in the past voiced strong support for whistleblower protections, seek to undermine those protections by outing the whistleblower,” he added.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an aggressive defender of Trump, then chimed in.
“You are the only member who knows who that individual is,” Jordan said, referring to the whistleblower, “and your staff is the only staff of any member of Congress who has had a chance to talk with that individual. We would like that opportunity. When might that happen in this proceeding today?” …
Schiff shot back: “First, as the gentlemen knows, that’s a false statement. I do not know the identity of the whistleblower and I’m determined to make sure the identity is protected.”
But, the chairman added, “you’ll have an opportunity after the witnesses have testified to make a motion to subpoena any witness and compel a vote.”
Republicans came out of the gate aggressively, focusing almost immediately on the whistleblower. Both Elise Stefanik and Mike Conaway called for a subpoena to get him on the record, which led to the exchange between Jordan and Schiff.
Is it possible that Schiff doesn’t know the whistleblower’s identity? Could be, but it’s very difficult to believe, and not just because Schiff has made a habit out of lying when it comes to impeachment. Consider the stakes of pursuing Ukraine-Gate on the basis of a second-hand account of the phone call between Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, the transcript of which Schiff didn’t have approval to access at the time. It would take brass cojones to gin up an impeachment demand on that basis without being absolutely certain of the bona fides of the source. The prospect of getting depantsed over this would have been high indeed, far too high for anyone with ambitions beyond this Christmas in politics.
Add that into Schiff’s previous misrepresentations of the contacts between the whistleblowers, and it makes this claim completely unbelievable. And that speaks volumes about the process that Schiff is currently leading as well.