Politics

Former Trump Official Morgan Ortagus Confronts Adam Schiff On ‘The View’ Over His Promotion Of Steele Dossier

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff repeatedly refused to take responsibility for his promotion of the since-debunked Steele Dossier during a Tuesday appearance on “The View.”

Guest co-host Morgan Ortagus, a former State Department spokeswoman, pressed Schiff on his support for the dossier, including his decision to read part of it into the congressional record. Igor Danchenko, former MI6 operative Christopher Steele’s main source for the dossier, was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham on Nov. 4 for allegedly lying to federal officials. (RELATED: Adam Schiff Is Finally Pressed On The Steele Dossier—He Doesn’t Want To Talk About It)

Durham also indicted a lawyer employed by the Clinton campaign for allegedly lying to an FBI lawyer about the campaign’s role in funding and disseminating the dossier.

“We know the main source for was indicted by the FBI for lying about most of the key claims in that dossier. Do you have any reflections on your role in promoting this to the American people?” Ortagus asked.

“Whoever lied to the FBI or lied to Christopher Steele should be prosecuted, and they are,” Schiff responded, before pivoting to criticism of the former president.

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“Unlike in the Trump administration, if they’re convicted, they should go to jail and not be pardoned. So Donald Trump pardoned Roger Stone for lying. He pardoned Michael Flynn for lying. If people lied to the FBI, they should go to jail, but at the beginning of the Russia investigation, I said that any allegations should be investigated. We couldn’t have known, for example, people were lying to Christopher Steele. So it was proper to investigate them, and let’s not forget what we learned in that investigation. We learned that the Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was giving internal polling data, campaign polling data to Russian intelligence while Russian intelligence was helping the Trump campaign,” he continued.

“He was fired halfway through the campaign,” Ortagus shot back. “You may have helped spread Russian disinformation yourself for years by promoting this. I think that’s what Republicans and what people who entrusted you as the Intelligence Committee chair are so confused about your culpability in this.”

In his role as House Intelligence Committee chairman, Schiff released a memo defending the FBI’s decision to seek a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, arguing that federal agents received corroborating evidence and did not rely solely on the Steele Dossier for the warrant. Those assertions were disproved by an inspector general report released in 2019.

Schiff also attempted to interview Steele about the dossier. He claimed that the ex-spy had “very relevant information” and offered to speak with him in “a cooperative way.”