Adam Schiff: We've Never Ever Said That There Was Proof of Collusion

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)

Adam Schiff is simply the gift that keeps on giving. Here we have two great items. The least important first:

If you recall, the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee authored a memo to counter the view of the majority that the Trump dossier played a critical role in persuading a FISA court to approve a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aid Carter Page. When it went to the White House for the five-day review period, the White House rejected releasing it. Devin Nunes explained in this interview:

BARTIROMO: So, let me kick it off with that and the fact that the White House has denied the request to release Adam Schiff’s memo. What can you tell us about that memo? You’ve seen it. What do we need to understand about this?

NUNES: Well first off, this was not a surprise. So this was — after they had accused the Republicans of putting sources and methods into our memo, we actually did not, we just put in what we thought the American people needed to know. It was clear from the development of the Democratic memo from the very beginning that they packed it full of sources and methods. Now for the viewers out there, what are sources and methods? We don’t want to give up the way that our intelligence committee recruits sources, the methods that they may use to recruit sources, so these are things that don’t need to be made public. However, the Democrats knew this, they packed their memo full of sources and methods. Now, on Friday night we received a letter back from the White House. The White House did not deny that the release of the Democratic memo. What they did is they said look, you need to make some redactions and technical corrections here and we will get it out right away. Now, from that point, we’ve heard nothing but crickets. The Democrats have been on T.V. all weekend long. Their memo is sitting at the House Intelligence Committee down at the bottom of the Capitol waiting to be redacted. If they really wanted to get it out they’d be down there all day yesterday redacting it, getting it back over to the White House so that the public can know what’s in it. So this is — this is nothing but politics.

No sooner had the White House declined to release the memo than Nancy Pelosi went on the attack:

“President Trump’s refusal to release Intelligence Committee Democrats’ memo is a stunningly brazen attempt to cover up the truth about the Trump-Russia scandal from the American people. The President’s decision to block the Democratic memo from release is part of a dangerous and desperate pattern of cover-up on the part of the President. Clearly, the President has something to hide.

“The U.S. intelligence community has concluded, and members of Trump’s cabinet agree, that the Russians interfered in our election and plan to do so again. America’s intelligence and national security are being politicized. Why won’t the President put our country before his personal and political interests?”

Well, not so fast, says Schiff.

White House problems with the Democrats’ “rebuttal memo” on the surveillance of Trump associates are genuine and the document could disclose “sources and methods,” California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed.

“We need to go through that and identify that which remains classified and would implicate sources and methods or investigative interests,” he said at a newsmaker’s breakfast meeting on Wednesday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

His comments constituted a direct rebuke to his party’s top boss in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.


Schiff said “we hope to resolve this soon” and noted the Democrats were working with the FBI.

But this was the zinger:

He also somewhat backtracked on the Trump-Russia collusion issue, saying the Democrats’ definition of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was much lower than potential criminal acts being reviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller. Collusion is not a crime under the federal statutes.

“I’ve never said there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt” about collusion, the California Democrat told reporters. “Our responsibility is not determining what can be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Our responsibility is to tell the country as much as we’ve been able to learn.”

This sort of gives away the whole game. The objective of this exercise, as some of us have said for about a year, is to a) delegitimize the Trump administration and b) perpetuate the myth that the Russians interfered in the election with the cooperation of the Trump campaign. One would think, were that the case, that Schiff and his colleagues would have had the guts to hold a press conference and say that.