Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff appears to have reversed his position on the ethics of using “stolen” information against political foes.
“It’s not OK to use materials they stole from your opponent, or to make it part of your campaign strategy,” Schiff tweeted on Sunday.
I said it before and I’ll say it again:
It’s not ok to seek Russian help in your campaign.
It’s not ok to use materials they stole from your opponent, or to make it part of your campaign strategy.
Sadly, my GOP colleagues do think that’s ok.
The American people know better. https://t.co/LEraCbgm5V
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 21, 2019
Schiff was responding to a Sunday morning interview during which Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani argued that, while he would have advised against it, “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.” (RELATED: Giuliani To Romney: ‘Stop This Pious Act’)
But when “the Russians” contacted Schiff in 2017, offering him information that they promised would prove compromising to President Donald Trump, he had a very different reaction.
Two Russian comedians, known as Vocan and Lexus, placed a prank call to Schiff pretending to be Andriy Parubiy, the chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament. They claimed to have recordings proving that Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an effort to force Trump to relax sanctions, was blackmailing the president with photographs of him and a model named Olga Buzova.
Schiff responded by asking, “What’s the nature of the kompromat?”
After being told that there were naked photos of Trump and the Russian model, Schiff instructed members of his staff to follow up — which they did, attempting to set up a meeting with Parubiy in order to move forward.
Schiff aide Rheanne Wirkkala emailed Vocan and Lexus to follow up:
I understand Mr. Schiff had a productive call with Mr. Parubiy, and that Mr. Parubiy would like to make some material available to Mr. Schiff through your embassy.
Vocan and Lexus provided a copy of that email to The Daily Mail, at which point Schiff and his staffers claimed that they had known it was a hoax all along. They did not address questions regarding their decision to follow up on the call if they were aware that it was a prank.