Adam Schiff, the Democratic California Congressman heavily involved in investigating possible ties between the Trump administration and Russia, is locked in a stand-off with House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes on how to proceed, according to a Yahoo News report Tuesday.
Was today’s open hearing cancelled because WH did not want Sally Yates to testify re Gen Flynn’s deception? Didn’t want to assert privilege? pic.twitter.com/qO63IfPtAP
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 28, 2017
On Tuesday, Schiff suggested Nunes step down from the ongoing investigation due to having been on the White House grounds the day before his claim last week that the Trump transition team had been monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies.
“Everything is wrong with the fact that he went to the White House to obtain material that he didn’t share with his own committee, but then went back to the White House purportedly to disclose to the White House,” Schiff told NPR host Steve Inskeep Tuesday.
“You know, it just doesn’t add up. Someone on the White House staff would have let – had to let him onto the grounds. It’s not something that he can wander onto.”
Schiff, a Harvard Law School graduate, established his legal bona fides prosecuting Richard Miller, an FBI agent accused of providing sensitive national intelligence information to Russia in exchange for $65,000 in cash and gold. The case was significant in being the first time an FBI agent had ever been indicted for espionage.
Nunes, for his part, was defended Monday by his spokesman, Jack Langer.
According to Langer, Nunes “met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source.”
“The chairman is extremely concerned by the possible improper unmasking of names of U.S. citizens,” Langer stated, “and he began looking into this issue even before President Trump tweeted his assertion that Trump Tower had been wiretapped.”
In addition to Nunes, Schiff has criticized other high-profile figures, such as lobbyist and Trump confidante Roger Stone, for allegedly collaborating with Russian agents to enable Hillary Clinton leaks during last year’s election.
In an interview this week with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Stone reacted defensively to the allegations, suggesting there was no substance or truth behind them.
“I have had no contacts or collusions with the Russians,” Stone insisted. “My brief exchange with him [the hacker Guccifer 2.0] was six weeks after the hacking of, and publication of, the DNC documents, which I’m accused of colluding with him on. In other words, I would need a time machine in order to collude.”
“The gentleman from California,” Stone said, “is largely full of Schiff.”
Full of Schiff or not, the Congressman appears to be gladly taking on the role of gadfly to all of those who may have some involvement in the possible Trump-Russia connection.
On Tuesday, Schiff protested the cancellation of an open hearing in which ex-Attorney General Sally Yates would have testified regarding the deception of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“Was today’s open hearing cancelled because WH did not want Sally Yates to testify re Gen Flynn’s deception?” Schiff asked on Twitter. “Didn’t want to assert privilege?”
In a statement, Schiff said he would “urge the open hearing be rescheduled without further delay and that Ms. Yates be able to testify freely and openly so that the public may understand, among other matters, when the President was informed that his National Security Advisor had misled the Vice President, and through him the country, and why the President waited as long as he did to fire Mr. Flynn.”