There are few more loathsome creatures on Capitol Hill than California Democrat Adam Schiff, as he has proven time and again over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Believed to have been one the biggest leakers of phony information during the ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ hoax in order to perpetuate it as he played his role in attempting to depose a duly-elected president, Schiff continued his shenanigans after taking the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee.
There, he managed to talk California colleague and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into letting him take the lead on the president’s impeachment inquiry, where he promptly — according to a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch — abused his authority.
As reported by USA Features News:
Conservative legal watchdog Judicial Watch filed suit against Schiff and his committee in December seeking access to “the controversial subpoenas issued for phone records.”
They included records of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Judicial Watch pointed out that Schiff’s impeachment report also included “the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devin Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.”
Judicial Watch wants to get a look at the subpoenas to see whether Schiff illegally obtained them since phone records are extremely private — especially when it comes to the records of other congressmen and the president’s personal lawyer.
There is no legitimate purpose for obtaining those records other than to expose them for political gain — and if that’s the case, then Schiff likely violated the law (along with the idiot telecoms that handed the information to him).
But Schiff being Schiff is claiming in court that he essentially has a ‘get out of jail free’ card, according to Just The News:
The House Intelligence Committee and its chairman Adam Schiff invoked “sovereign immunity” in a motion to dismiss a Judicial Watch lawsuit seeking to obtain controversial phone records subpoenas issued during the Trump impeachment inquiry.
The committee’s subpoenas of phone records ultimately led to the publication of multiple Americans’ phone records, including those of reporter John Solomon, California Rep. Devin Nunes, the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others.
In the motion, lawyers from the Office of General Counsel for the House of Representatives assert four reasons for dismissing the case, including protection under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause.
“First, the doctrine of sovereign immunity deprives the Court of jurisdiction over the House Defendants, and no express and unequivocal waiver exists,” the argument says. “Second, given that the records sought by Plaintiff involve matters pursued and obtained by the House Defendants as part of the House-authorized impeachment inquiry, they are absolutely protected by the Speech or Debate Clause.”
“Third, Plaintiff fails to state a claim because Congress has created a comprehensive scheme for the review of government records—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)—that preempts the common law right sought to be vindicated by this litigation,” the lawyers write.
“Finally, under governing case law, the records Plaintiff seeks to review are not ‘public records’ and, therefore, are not subject to the common law right of public access. And even if the records are ‘public records,’ Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the House Defendants’ interest in non-disclosure,” the motion argues.
Translation: Schiff and other House Democrats claim they are members of Congress so anything they do as congressmen is fine and dandy.
Except…it isn’t. As we noted in January, members of Congress, under a range of circumstances, can be held legally liable for their actions, even if they were ‘being members of Congress’ at the time.
It’s not clear that Schiff and his cohorts violated any laws here, but let’s face it: Judicial Watch’s hunches in such matters tend to be spot-on.