House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff insisted Wednesday that he did not know the identity of the so-called “whistleblower” who first filed a complaint about President Donald Trump.
“First of all, I don’t know who the whistleblower is, I haven’t met them or communicated with them in any way,” Schiff claimed during the Senate impeachment trial on Wednesday
Schiff failed to mention, however, that the “whistleblower” approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with information about Trump’s call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to the New York Times, Schiff’s committee staffer advised the “whistleblower” to meet with the inspector general and file a whistleblower complaint.
But Schiff denied that his staff did anything to help the “whistleblower.”
“The committee staff did not write the complaint or coach the whistleblower what to put in the complaint,” he said.
Schiff denounced what he described as a “conspiracy theory” that his committee staff “colluded” with the whistleblower to craft his complaint that kicked off the entire impeachment investigation.
A Schiff spokesman told the Times that the whistleblower, “contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community.”
Schiff insisted that his staff acted with “complete professionalism,” and he complained that members of his staff had become subject to online threats as a result of the “smears” launched by Trump and his allies.
Schiff also said that he would not do anything to endanger the identity of the “whistleblower” during the trial.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called out Schiff on Twitter, accusing him of lying about the “whistleblower.”
“Stunning that Adam Schiff lies to millions of Americans when he says he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower,” she wrote. “He absolutely knows the identity of the whistleblower because he coordinated with the individual before the whistleblower’s complaint! His staff helped write it!”
Republicans have repeatedly called for the “whistleblower” to testify as part of the impeachment proceedings, but Schiff has adamantly refused.
Speaking to the Senate on Wednesday, Schiff said that it was no longer relevant to demand the “whistleblower” to testify because President Trump released the transcript of the call.
“There’s no need for that whistleblower any more except to further endanger that person’s life,” he said.