As House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) was fighting back against the Democrats effort to impeach President Donald Trump, claiming he abused his power and obstructed, Scalise blasted Democrats, specifically House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), claiming it was really the Democrats who were abusing their power.
Scalise ripped the impeachment report which contained the calls of people including Rep. Devin Nunes (D-CA), investigative journalist John Solomon, presidential lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Lev Parnas, National Security Council aide and former Nunes staffer Kash Patel and lawyer Victoria Toensing, according to the Washington Examiner.
SCALISE: “They have seen the abuse of power. Last week, Adam Schiff spying on members of the press, subpoenaing phone records of journalists. We don’t know how many.”
The only Abuse of Power has been by Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi. pic.twitter.com/cGHrOAZFed
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 10, 2019
Now, we would note, it is not known that Schiff subpoenaed the records of journalists or Nunes.
We do know that, at least according to reports, that he subpoenaed records of five people including Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of the president, as well as apparently Lev Parnas, from Verizon and ATT. It is likely that the records in the report involving Nunes and his staff member and some of the other people came largely from the subpoenaing of Giuliani. That is troubling enough, subpoenaing the personal attorney of the president.
But we also don’t know exactly who was subpoenaed because they are not saying and we don’t know what the justification for the five was. Given the governmental violations that we’ve seen, it’s not hard to be very concerned about how this can be abused.
Also, it’s a bit like what we saw with the unmasking scandal and the FBI surveillance – while you may be acquiring the records against one person legally, what you’re really looking at is trying to see the records that you might find as a consequence of that.
Kim Strassel pointed out some of the legal questions being raised.
Also from my column: Constitutional lawyer David Rivkin makes the case that Schiff has opened himself up lawsuits from targets of these subpoenas.
— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) December 6, 2019
But the other problem is with the publishing of such records in the report in the blatant effort to smear everyone in those calls as somehow being involved in a “conspiracy.” It’s a way of incapacitating the reporting by people like Solomon and impairing Nunes on impeachment by casting a shadow on them as somehow complicit.
Nunes also claimed that the records that Schiff released didn’t match his records and he said he planned on suing.
“I believe I am the first member of Congress ever to have [my] phone records exposed like this,” Nunes exclaimed. “We’re definitely going to take legal action.”
He said, “We need to get to court to try to stop that from happening again.”