Declassified transcripts revealed a Californian Democrat, who leads a group that oversees the nation’s intelligence community, was fully aware there was no solid evidence of foreign interference in the last presidential election.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has released documents from its two-year investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 general election. One of the documents shows House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff knew there was no conclusive proof that Russian officials had colluded with the Donald Trump presidential campaign team.
“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting or conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” former National Intelligence Director James Clapper told the committee on July 17, 2017, according to an official transcript. “That is not to say that there were not concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence, [redacted] but I do not recall any instance where I had direct evidence of the content of these meetings. It is just the frequency and prevalence of them [that] was of concern.”
The remarks came after then Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) mentioned Clapper had previously testified that he found no direct evidence to support Democratic Party claims that candidate Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election due to foreign interference.
“You had testified in the past that you saw, no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government,” the congressman said.
The finding prompted the Wall Street Journal editorial board to publish a scathing opinion article that slammed Schiff for spreading misinformation.
“Americans expect that politicians will lie but sometimes the examples are so brazen that they deserve special notice,” the board said. “Newly released congressional testimony shows that Adam Schiff spread falsehoods shamelessly about Russia and Donald Trump for three years even as his own committee gathered contrary evidence.”
Nearly 60 interview transcripts have been published on the intelligence committee website, dated between January 2017 and March 2018.
The documents show previous chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) found no evidence of the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia’s Kremlin. However, Schiff repeatedly refused to make the documents public even after he replaced Nunes and only released them in May 2020 after the White House decided to do so.
The paper urged all of its readers to re-evaluate their support for Schiff, describing him as a liar who repeatedly fooled the nation into believing the Russians caused Clinton to lose the 2016 presidential election.
“Schiff is a powerful figure with access to secrets that the rest of us do not have and cannot check,” the paper said. “He misled the country repeatedly on an issue that consumed American politics … no one should ever believe another word he says.”