A spokesman for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) acknowledged on Wednesday that — as speculation had suggested — the so-called whistleblower who is alleging misconduct at the White House reached out to Schiff’s House panel first before filing a complaint — prompting President Donald Trump, during a press conference this afternoon, to accuse Schiff of helping write the document, as Fox News and other outlets reported.
“It shows that Schiff is a fraud,” said Trump, in part.
“I think it’s a scandal that he knew before,” the president also said, as the leader of Finland stood closely beside him, at his own podium.
“I’d go a step further,” added Trump, clearly charged up about the latest developments. “I’d say he probably helped write it … That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it, too. It’s a scam.”
He also at one point referred to the congressman as “Shifty Schiff,” and said the current push on an impeachment inquiry is part of a “fraudulent crime on the American people.”
Much of this is why Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, told “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the Fox Business Network, “You’re surprised that he [Adam Schiff] is once again conspires — conspiring to level false charges against the president of the United States? The guy who claimed that he had direct evidence of Russian collusion, lied to the American people [for two years or more] as part of the other conspiracy to frame? That’s why we’re considering a lawsuit,” addedGiuliani, “with him as one of the principal defendants, individually.”
Added Giuliani, “Remember, he doesn’t have immunity when he’s off the floor of the Congress. And his statement about having this evidence of Russian collusion was made to a reporter. There’s a case — a Supreme Court case — that says, yes, say it in Congress, you’re immune. You put it in a press release, you’re liable like anybody else.”
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He also said, “We are considering a lawsuit to vindicate the constitutional rights of the president, the president’s administration, to also remedy the — they’re trampling on the civil rights of many, many people.”
As Fox News noted earlier in the day, “The whirlwind day in Washington kicked into gear when The New York Times reported earlier Wednesday that Schiff ‘learned about the outlines’ of the whistleblower’s complaint ‘days before’ it was filed.”
“Schiff’s office denied [to Fox News] that the intelligence committee had reviewed or received the complaint in advance, but largely confirmed The Times’ reporting.”
Steve Guest of the Republican National Committee, in an emailed message on Wednesday afternoon, shared the following: “This report is yet another nail in the coffin of the Democrats’ bogus impeachment charade and further proof that this Ukraine sham is a disingenuous and orchestrated smear campaign led by Adam Schiff. By getting an early account of the whistleblower’s complaint, Schiff knew what to expect in the complaint and he was able to shape his phony narrative for his benefit.”
Adam Schiff started this bogus impeachment probe with lies about @realDonaldTrump.
Schiff’s team got a heads up from the “whistleblower,” then advised him on how to proceed.
If a judge did this, he’d be disbarred.
Schiff needs to recuse himself!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) October 2, 2019
At a joint news conference early on Wednesday in D.C., before the above information was made public, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schiff made statements on the hot topic of the impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi was there, as part of her weekly press conference, to discuss the phone call Trump held on July 25 with the Ukraine president — and why the impeachment inquiry she’s moving forward with is very “serious” and very important.
“It’s a very serious challenge … It’s very sad,” she said, as LifeZette reported earlier in the day.
“I don’t see impeachment as a unifying thing for our country,” she also said.
Said Schiff at one point, “It’s hard to imagine a more corrupt [action]” on the part of Trump.
He talked about the July phone call and the president’s comments and actions after that call came to light.
“What was the State Department’s role? … What was the role of the attorney general?” he said, adding that Congress wants to understand “the president’s misconduct.”
“There seems to be no floor below which this president can drop,” he also declared.
“In that telephone call, the president undermined our national security,” alleged Pelosi, adding that the “sequencing” of events by the president is important related to any funding aimed for Ukraine.
“Using that as leverage … Undermining our national security, undermining his oath of office … because he was overthrowing an act of Congress just on his own … undermining the integrity of our elections,” she added.
She also said he’s “stooping” to low levels.
“This is sad. We have to be prayerful. We have to be worthy to the Constitution. We have to be fair to the president … and give him a chance to exonerate himself … But he thinks what he did was perfect, so we have that situation.”
The White House responded that all of this action is a waste of time and a distraction for the country.
“All the talk of impeachment is now driving the stock market lower,” said Trump in a tweet.
He also shared other responses to the press conference remarks on impeachment by the two Democrats.
“It is just camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment,” he tweeted — then said the impeachment inquiry was “bull****.”
“The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone’s time and energy on bull****, which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306. Get a better candidate this time, you’ll need it!” Trump tweeted with force.
Pelosi tried to talk about health care, drug prices and more — and used her opening time to try to focus on that. The press conference, though, quickly moved to the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Analysts immediately noted that this whole impeachment effort could be a “long slog” — and could wind up dragging itself out for months and months, perhaps even into the new year.
Donna Brazile, a Fox News contributor now and a former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, said on Wednesday after the press conference, “I trust her” — and talked about how Pelosi had been reluctant to move on impeachment efforts earlier.
Brazile also said she felt Pelosi was being cautious and careful — but many other Americans will have a different view entirely there.
See the below — and share your thoughts on all of this.
Nancy Pelosi just said that she is interested in lowering prescription drug prices & working on the desperately needed USMCA. She is incapable of working on either. It is just camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment. The Do Nothing Democrats are stuck in mud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019
.@SpeakerPelosi: "Having an investigation to impeach a president is not anything to be joyful about."
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 2, 2019
This article has been updated.