Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, didn’t have much to say in defense of the White House’s highly selective Bergdahl-deal maneuvering this evening. As CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield notes, “80 to 90” administration officials across various agencies knew about the deal beforehand, and regardless of whether or not the administration had the legal authority to proceed without notifying Congress, Schiff notes that they would have done themselves a world of at least PR-related favors if they had asked for Congress’s input. Via the Free Beacon:
It didn’t sit very well with those of us who were sitting at the briefing. Look, I think the president had the constitutional authority under Article Two to make this decision without consulting with Congress, but I think it would have been wiser, far wiser, for the administration to have notified, certainly, the leadership of Congress in the interest of having good relations and comity with a co-equal branch of government, so they should have done it. It was a mistake that they didn’t, and the fact that there were so many people within the know in the administration doesn’t help their case. One other fact I’ll raise is that most of the leaks that have taken place have come from the administration and not from Congress, so they really should have brought at least the leadership within their confidence, and I think that was a mistake.