The Corner

Politics & Policy

Adam Schiff Keeps Lying

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff addresses a news conference on Capitol Hill, December 3, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Adam Schiff’s numerous fabrications have gone largely unchallenged by a fawning political media, even though the congressman has been a frequent guest on every network but Fox News since 2016. Schiff most famously claimed that Congress had not only uncovered a criminal conspiracy by the president’s 2016 campaign but also that he himself was in personal possession of a “smoking gun.” Schiff never shared any corroboration with the public. When The View’s Meghan McCain asked him about it, Schiff declared that the confirmation had been in “plain sight” the whole time, which was the opposite of his claim that he had uncovered a seditious and clandestine conspiracy.

Today, another person on The View, guest host Morgan Ortagus, confronted Schiff about revelations that the Steele Dossier had been a partisan deception meant to undermine the Republican candidate. Schiff took no responsibility for his role in spreading its contents, for destroying public trust in the electoral system, for perpetuating a conspiracy theory, or for feeding a pliant media distortions and fabrications. “It’s one thing to say allegations should be investigated,” Schiff responded. He continued:

It’s another to say we should have foreseen in advance that some people were lying to Christopher Steele which would have been impossible. But let’s not use that as a smokescreen to somehow shield Donald Trump’s culpability for inviting Russia to help him in the election which they did, trying to force Ukraine into helping him in the next election, which he did. Into inciting an . . . insurrection, which he did. None of that is undercut. None of that serious misconduct is in any way diminished by the fact that people lied to Christopher Steele.

“No. I think just your credibility is,” Ortagus fittingly responded.

Why couldn’t Schiff have foreseen the consequences of treating Christopher Steele’s work as legitimate? He knew that the dossier was an oppo-research document paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Schiff tried to suppress information that undercut collusion accusations, claiming, for instance, that Devin Nunes’s memo detailing the dossier’s origins and lack of evidence “was unsupported by the facts and the investigative record.” And when, after years of delay, Schiff was forced to release transcripts of interviews conducted by House Intelligence Committee into Russia meddling, we learned that the director of National Intelligence, former Obama attorney general, former deputy attorney general, and the FBI deputy director, among others, all told his committee that there was no direct evidence of criminal conspiracy. Schiff knew, and yet he continued to profess that the central assertion of the dossier — that the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign — was not only possible but a fact. He did so on numerous occasions and with great certitude. Every time he did, it was a lie.

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