Politics

White House Lawyer: Schiff ‘Untruthful’ On Whistleblower And Russian Collusion

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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White House deputy counsel Patrick Philbin asked Saturday why Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff should be taken seriously on impeachment when he was “untruthful” about not knowing the whistleblower.

Philbin, who is part of President Donald Trump’s legal team for his Senate impeachment trial, noted that Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager, also suggested he had evidence of Russian collusion from the Trump campaign when he obviously did not.

Speaking of Schiff’s relationship with the whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry, Philbin noted, “Around October 2nd or 3rd, it was exposed that manager Schiff’s staff, at least, had spoken with the whistleblower before the whistleblower filed the complaint and potentially had given some guidance of some sort to the whistleblower and after that point, it became critical to shut down any inquiry into the whistleblower.” (RELATED: Rep. Schiff Has Done 419 TV Interviews Pushing Russian Collusion Conspiracy)

Philbin continued, “Since he was saying something that wasn’t truthful about that contact, he had a reason to not want that inquiry and it was he who ensured that there wasn’t any inquiry into that … a lot of what we’ve heard over the past 23 hours, over the past three days, has been from Chairman Schiff … It’s his interpretation of the facts and evidence trying of pull inferences out of things.”

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 03: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivers a lecture on The Threat to Liberal Democracy at Home and Abroad at Cahn Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern University on October 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Schiff is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivers a lecture on The Threat to Liberal Democracy at Home and Abroad at Cahn Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern University on October 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Schiff is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The White House counsel then referenced Schiff’s record on Russian collusion, showing a television news clip where the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee claimed he had secret evidence about the president being guilty of colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election. (RELATED: Rep. Adam Schiff Says Attorney General Is Doing Trump’s ‘Bidding’ By Accusing The FBI Of ‘Spying’)

When asked if he only had circumstantial evidence about collusion, Schiff said, “I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence.”

Philbin concluded: “And we wanted to point these things out simply because for this reason, Chairman Schiff has made so much of the House’s case about the credibility of interpretations that the House managers want to place on not hard evidence, but on inferences … That it is very relevant to know whether the assessments of evidence that he’s presented in the past are accurate. And we submit that they have not been, and that is relevant for your consideration.”