Schiff Issues Veiled Threat To Pompeo: Failure To Comply Will Be Seen As Evidence Of Guilt

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Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff issued a veiled threat to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his Wednesday press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


Schiff began by explaining what had been done so far in an effort to proceed with the impeachment inquiry announced last week by Speaker Pelosi. “Last Thursday the Intelligence Committee held an open hearing with the acting Director of National Intelligence,” he said.

“The following day Chairman Engel issued a subpoena to the State Department in consultation with myself and Chairman Cummings,” Schiff continued.

Schiff then took direct aim at Pompeo, who responded to Engel’s letter with a sharp statement accusing Democrats of attempting to “bully and intimidate” the State Department. (RELATED: Pompeo Letter Attacks Foreign Affairs Committee For Attempting To ‘Bully’ State Department)

“We’re deeply concerned about secretary Pompeo’s effort now to potentially interfere with witnesses whose testimony is needed before our committee, many of whom are mentioned in the whistleblower complaint and we want to make it abundantly clear that any effort by the secretary, president or anyone else to interfere with Congress’s ability to call before it relevant witnesses will be considered as evidence of obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress.”

Schiff then took it a step further, suggesting that refusal to comply would give his committee no choice but to assume guilt in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. “And more than that we’ll allow an adverse inference to be drawn as to the underlying facts. That if they are going to prevent witnesses from coming forward to testify on the allegations in the whistleblower complaint, that will create an adverse inference that those allegations are in fact correct,” he explained.

President Donald Trump fired back at Schiff almost immediately, defending Pompeo in a tweet. “Adam Schiff should only be so lucky to have the brains, honor and strength of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. For a lowlife like Schiff, who completely fabricated my words and read them to Congress as though they were said by me, to demean a First in Class at West Point, is SAD!”