Texas Republican: Schiff Is Withholding ‘Secret’ Transcript Of Key Witness Interview Because Of My Questions
Martha MacCallum Grills Georgia Secretary Of State On Whether He Approved Leaked Trump Call
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The Democratic congressman leading the impeachment inquiry is allegedly withholding the transcript of an 8-hour interview with a key witness because he does not want Americans to learn the answers to questions about his office’s involvement with the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the Democrats’ impeachment effort — so claims House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe (R-TX).
The Texas Republican has made headlines during the public inquiry for strongly pushing back against the Democrats’ impeachment narrative, including when he stacked up thousands of pages of transcripts from interviews in which not a single witness so much as uttered the words “bribery” or “bribe” in reference to any of Trump’s actions related to Ukraine, striking at the heart of the Democrats’ case.
One of the transcripts that has been conspicuously missing from the thousands of pages released by Schiff, however, is the transcript of the committee’s interview with Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, an omission noted on Friday by Real Clear Investigations’ Paul Sperry.
“Why is Schiff still withholding transcript of ICIG Michael Atkinson’s Oct 4 closed-door testimony which lasted 8+ hours?” asked Sperry. “He’s released 15 witness transcripts but is still hiding Atkinson’s. Also, what’s Atkinson’s connection to Obama officials including David Laufman?”
DEVELOPING: Why is Schiff still withholding transcript of ICIG Michael Atkinson's Oct 4 closed-door testimony which lasted 8+ hours? He's released 15 witness transcripts but is still hiding Atkinson's. Also, what's Atkinson's connection to Obama officials including David Laufman?
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) November 30, 2019
In response, Congressman Ratcliffe provided a suggestive answer.
“I know why [Paul Sperry]. It’s because I asked IG Atkinson about his ‘investigation’ into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified ‘secret’ so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions.”
I know why @paulsperry_ It’s because I asked IG Atkinson about his “investigation” into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified “secret” so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) November 30, 2019
In his attempts to keep the whistleblower’s identity under wraps, Schiff has repeatedly shut down questions that could in any way reveal or point to the whistleblower’s identity. But Ratcliffe’s response suggests that Schiff is abusing that “protection” for the whistleblower to also protect himself from further scrutiny about his involvement with the whistleblower leading up to the filing of the complaint.
Schiff’s consultation with the whistleblower before the complaint was filed was first revealed in an October 2 report by The New York Times, which also highlighted the role of Inspector General Atkinson.
“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,” the Times reported. “The early account by the future whistle-blower … 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,” the report continued. “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. The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint.”
The Times made clear that Schiff himself was made aware of the complaint. “The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff,” the Times reported, adding that the aide “did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff,” according to one official.
“The future whistle-blower went to Mr. Schiff’s committee after he grew concerned about the first investigation he had touched off,” the Times explained. “The C.I.A. officer decided the complaint he had brought to Ms. Elwood was at risk of being swept aside, prompting him to go to the lawmakers who conduct oversight of the intelligence agencies. He followed the advice of Mr. Schiff’s aide and filed his complaint to Mr. Atkinson. And though Mr. Maguire blocked him from forwarding it to Congress, he did allow Mr. Atkinson to notify lawmakers of its existence.”
Nikki Haley Breaks with Trump: ‘We Shouldn’t Have Followed Him, and We Shouldn’t Have Listened to Him’
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, believes that former President Donald Trump “let us down.”
Haley’s remarks come as the former president’s legal team prepares to present its defense of Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate.
In a Politico interview published Friday, Haley, former South Carolina governor, said that “we shouldn’t have followed” Trump.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said in an extensive profile. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
She also told the outlet that she has not spoken to Trump since the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, and takes issue with his remarks condemning former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to reject the Electoral College vote.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” she expressed. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”
The former ambassador, who many people are speculating may run for the White House in 2024, also added that Trump will never accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election,” she explained. “He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it.”
Haley also warned that many people still love the former president and will not stop supporting him just because he is out of office.
“I know how much people love Donald Trump,” she admitted. “I know it. I feel it. Whether it’s an RNC room or social media or talking to donors, I can tell you that the love they have for him is still very strong. That’s not going to just fall to the wayside. Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don’t think it should.”
Haley added that people, instead, should “take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party.”
“[I]t’s bigger than the party,” she insisted. “I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back.”
Referring to Haley’s possible 2024 ambitions, Politico’s Tim Alberta wrote, “Since last fall, I’ve spent nearly six hours talking with Haley on-the-record. I’ve also spoken with nearly 70 people who know her: friends, associates, donors, staffers, former colleagues. From those conversations, two things are clear. First, Nikki Haley is going to run for president in 2024. Second, she doesn’t know which Nikki Haley will be on the ballot.”
Haley also said that she didn’t believe Trump had a chance of winning in a 2024 election scenario.
“I don’t think he can,” she admitted. “He’s fallen so far.”
“I think his business is suffering at this point,” she added. “I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”
WATCH: Trump’s Defense Team Absolutely Ruins Democrats With 13 Minute Montage of “Fight” Word Like Trump Did
The Democrats demonized President Trump for using the word ‘fight’. Trump’s attorneys responded today with a collage of clips from each of the Democrats in the room using the word ‘fight’.
This portion of today’s events on Capitol Hill was excellent. The Democrats claim that because President Trump used the word ‘fight’ in his speech on January 6th in Washington D.C. However, what every Democrat in that room forgot was that they too had used the word previously in political speech.
The montage went on for 13 minutes. (The video montage starts at 7:10 timeframe.)
WATCH: Trump Attorneys Destroy House Managers on Lying to American Public and Using Manipulated Tweet as Evidence
President Trump’s defense team took the floor of the US Senate on Friday in defense of President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
Trump Attorney David Schoen absolutely destroyed the House Managers when he took to the floor of the US Senate.
At one point Schoen played video of the Democrat lawmakers lying about a Trump tweet.
House Impeachment Manager Eric Swalwell gave a riveting performance on Wednesday reading off Trump’s tweets with emotional appeal.
During this theatrical performance, Swalwell read off a Trump retweet by Jennifer Lynn Lawrence.
But there was one problem with the tweet. It was photoshopped.
Jennifer Lynn Lawrence has never been verified by Twitter. Democrats faked that to make it look more important.
On Friday Trump Attorney David Schoen destroyed Democrats for lying about this to the American public.
White House Suspends Deputy Press Secretary For Allegedly Sexually Harassing, Threatening Reporter
The White House announced on Friday that it was suspending Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo after a report surfaced alleging that he sexually harassed and threatened a female reporter who was getting ready to publish a report revealing that he was dating a reporter who had previously been tasked with covering Democrat Joe Biden.
“The confrontation began on Inauguration Day, January 20, after [Politico reporter Tara] Palmeri, a coauthor of Politico’s Playbook, contacted [Axios political reporter Alexi] McCammond for comment while one of her male colleagues left a message for Ducklo,” Vanity Fair reported. “Ducklo subsequently called a Playbook editor to object to the story, but was told to call the Playbook reporters with his concerns. But instead of calling the male reporter who initially contacted him, Ducklo tried to intimidate Palmeri by phone in an effort to kill the story. ‘I will destroy you,’ Ducklo told her, according to the sources, adding that he would ruin her reputation if she published it.”
“During the off-the-record call, Ducklo made derogatory and misogynistic comments, accusing Palmeri of only reporting on his relationship—which, due to the ethics questions that factor into the relationship between a journalist and White House official, falls under the purview of her reporting beat—because she was ‘jealous’ that an unidentified man in the past had ‘wanted to f***’ McCammond ‘and not you,’” the report added. “Ducklo also accused Palmeri of being ‘jealous’ of his relationship with McCammond.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said following the report that Ducklo has been suspended for a week over the incident.
“TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life,” Psaki wrote on Twitter. “He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.”
TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021
“In addition to his initial apology, he has sent the reporter a personal note expressing his profound regret,” she continued. “With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.”
With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021
Reporters called out the administration over the incident, highlighting how the Trump administration did not treat reporters that way as well as issues with the timeline of events with regard to the White House taking action to address the incident.
“The Vanity Fair piece indicates that Politico editors reached to the WH after the incident first occurred and the WH acknowledged it was inappropriate,” Spectator editor Amber Athey wrote on Twitter. “But they clearly didn’t have any interest in disciplining Ducklo until his behavior was made public.”
The Vanity Fair piece indicates that Politico editors reached to the WH after the incident first occurred and the WH acknowledged it was inappropriate. But they clearly didn't have any interest in disciplining Ducklo until his behavior was made public @PressSec pic.twitter.com/T3mTLPcdid
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) February 12, 2021
New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi wrote on Twitter: “I covered Donald Trump for 6 years. It is saying something that this behavior — from a Biden official — shocks me.”
I covered Donald Trump for 6 years. It is saying something that this behavior — from a Biden official — shocks me.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) February 12, 2021
Grabien founder Tom Elliott highlighted the following remarks that Biden made a few weeks ago: “If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot, on the spot. No if, ands, or buts. Everybody — everybody is entitled to be treated with decency & dignity.”
Biden 3 weeks ago: "If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot, on the spot. No if, ands, or buts. Everybody — everybody is entitled to be treated with decency & dignity." pic.twitter.com/0QDHnyU3Jo
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 12, 2021
CNN anchor Jake Tapper responded to the quote, writing: “Standards that are not upheld are not standards. They’re lies.”
Standards that are not upheld are not standards. They’re lies. https://t.co/7b1InypvBT
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 12, 2021