Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) spoke with host Margret Brennan where he claimed House Democrats have enough evidence from their closed-door depositions to show there is an “extortion scheme” by President Trump pertaining to the phone call on July 25 involving the president and Ukrainian president Zelensky.
Swalwell further claimed during the interview “For the most part, [witnesses] have not been coordinating”, to which Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins (R-GA), called out the California Congressman in regards to his questionable statement.
Asked if he expects anything new from the testimonies that will be made public this week, Swalwell said, “These witnesses have been fairly consistent and for the most part, they have not been coordinating or talking to each other. … These witnesses should come public and the American people should judge for themselves, as well as we will, as to what happened here.” [Emphasis added]
Rep. Doug Collins took note of Swalwell’s statement about the witnesses “not coordinating” and called him out.
“Rep. Swalwell claims, ‘for the most part, [witnesses] have not been coordinating…’ For the most part?” Rep. Collins asked.
“What about the individual leading the investigation— [Rep. Adam Schiff] coordinating with the whistleblower before a complaint was even made?” the Georgia Congressman wondered. (Continued Below)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff (D-CA) got a heads-up on a whistleblower’s allegations about President Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart days before a complaint was filed. Schiff later said that his committee had no contact with the whistleblower before receiving the complaint. Schiff claimed, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower,” when the whistleblower had in fact reached out to a committee aide before filing a complaint.
As reported by Fact Check, the New York Times broke the story on Oct. 2 that Schiff knew about “the outlines” of the whistleblower’s concerns before the Aug. 12 complaint was filed. The whistleblower had contacted an intelligence committee aide after passing along concerns to the CIA’s top lawyer and being “[c]oncerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding,” the Times reported.
Schiff was asked about the complaint in a Sept. 17 MSNBC interview and flatly stated, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to, but I’m sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national intelligence, just as to how he is to communicate with Congress. And so the risk for the whistleblower is retaliation. Will the whistleblower be protected under the statute if the offices that are supposed to come to his assistance and provide the mechanism are unwilling to do so? But yes, we would love to talk directly with the whistleblower.” (Continued Below)
Schiff has since reversed his statement. “I was really thinking along the lines of wanting to get him to come in to testify,” Schiff told the Daily Beast. “I regret that I wasn’t much more clear.” [Emphasis added].
Further, former Ukraine U.S. Ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, who testified behind closed doors, had communicated with a Democratic congressional staffer with her personal email account, a breach of State Department protocol, which pertained to a “quite delicate” and “time-sensitive” matter two days after the whistleblower complaint was filed, and a month before the complaint became public.
The emails appear to contradict Yovanovitch’s deposition on Capitol Hill last month, in which she told U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) about an email she received Aug. 14 from the staffer, Laura Carey — but indicated under oath that she never responded to it, as reported by Fox News.
(Related: Zeldin Unveils How Fmr Ukraine Ambassador May Have Perjured Herself In A Section Of Her Testimony)
When asked directly whether she replied to the staffer, Yovanovitch testified that only someone in the “Legislative Affairs Office” at the State Department had responded to Carey, to the best of her knowledge. (Video Below)
Yovanovitch did not indicate that she had responded to Carey’s first email in any way and testified that she did not reply to Carey’s follow-up email concerning whom she should contact at the State Department. However, emails showed that in fact, Yovanovitch had responded to Carey’s initial Aug. 14 email, writing that she “would love to reconnect and look forward to chatting with you,” as per Fox News.
Rep. Doug Collins’ official tweet:
Rep. Swalwell claims, “for the most part, [witnesses] have not been coordinating…”
For the most part? What about the individual leading the investigation—@RepAdamSchiff—coordinating with the whistleblower before a complaint was even made? https://t.co/OrCgUM31fG
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) November 10, 2019
(Related: Swalwell Suggests President Trump Has A “Deep, Deep Consciousness Of Guilt” & Is Facing “Removal”)