Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks after a closed meeting on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
There are two things that we have to acknowledge.
The first is that an idea that was widely panned by liberals and journalists as a conspiracy theory was confirmed by the New York Times yesterday. The second is that, in confirming it, we might have a glimpse into the coup that is happening right under Nancy Pelosi’s nose.
Most conservatives who dared to suggest that the rollout of the whistleblower complaint was a coordinated drip-drip by House Democrats (particularly Adam Schiff) were attacked as crazy conspiracy theorists for the past couple of days. Then, the Times released their story and basically confirmed that, yes, Schiff had knowledge of this for a month and a half and could, at least theoretically, have planned a slow rollout.
WASHINGTON — 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 Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.
As Erick Erickson mentioned on his Atlanta-based radio show yesterday, the writers here omitted a very important piece of information in this opening paragraph – and the entire story.
The whistle-blower complaint was filed on August 12. The news broke in late September.
That’s a pretty big omission because, without that context, you could read that paragraph and think this is all recent stuff. But, it isn’t. It’s a month and a half of trying to build a (rather shoddy) impeachment case. A case, the Times adds, the whistle-blower didn’t seem able to make he got “help” from House Intelligence aides.
The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s government to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.
The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.’s top lawyer. Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide. In both cases, the original accusation was vague.
However, the caveat here is that we still don’t have all the information. Only the publicly-released information. There are investigations and, as I said last week, the whistle-blower’s complaint is written in a way that makes it appear more as a road map to impeachment rather than an impeachment accusation itself. There is still the (in my opinion, rapidly shrinking) chance that someone does have something that could be properly used against Trump.
But that is a discussion for lawyers and people who are interested in pursuing this rabbit hole. I am not. Instead, I find it way more fascinating to note that the New York Times story also had another glaring omission: Nancy Pelosi’s name.
The Speaker of the House, the loudest and most powerful voice against impeachment proceedings, appears nowhere in the timeline the Times has built for this story. If Pelosi knew about the whistle-blower complaint, it appears that it came way later than the House Intelligence’s discovery of it.
That isn’t a mistake on Schiff’s part as chairman of that committee. That’s a straight-up coup of Pelosi’s role as Speaker of the House and leader of the Democrats in Congress. Schiff kept this from his boss.
If that is the case, then Pelosi would do best to announce retirement now. She’s got no real power left. Let Nadler or Schiff or, God help us, Ocasio-Cortez fight for the job. If one of her closest lieutenants kept this whistle-blower report from her – and there is very little evidence suggesting she was in on it from the start or even from the middle – then she does not even have the respect of her House leaders.
Schiff not only prepped a slow rollout of the whistleblower complaint, but did so behind the back of (supposedly) the most powerful woman in Congress. He forced her hand on impeachment, a move she has carefully sought to avoid making.
That’s a whole bloody rebellion.