Rep. Adam Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, revealed his desire to obtain a phone record proving President Trump lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Still no Russian collusion, but other ‘crimes’
Schiff, who has made a name for himself as an outspoken opponent of Trump’s and a devotee of the conspiracy theory that Trump and the Russian government worked in cahoots to beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, is making a lot of noise before he takes control of the gavel and leads the House Intelligence Committee. (RELATED: Kellyanne Conway Mocks Adam Schiff For ‘Living on TV’.)
So far, Schiff, along with his Democrat colleagues, have been unable to uncover any proof of Russian collusion. The Mueller team, operating on an extended budget and seemingly infinite timeline, has also acquired no proof of collusion, but has nonetheless locked up former Trump associates based on completely unrelated crimes like tax evasion. (RELATED: Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison.)
Schiff sniffs out a phone record
As the focus of the Russia probe appears to be switching from the crime of collusion to extraneous crimes, Schiff seems to be pivoting as well. One of his first acts as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will be obtaining a phone record that supposedly proves Trump knew in advance of the infamous Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and other campaign surrogates with a Russian lawyer promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
In a glowing profile in the New Yorker, legal journalist Jeffrey Toobin reports:
According to telephone records available to the committee, three days before the meeting Trump, Jr., made a series of calls. In the interval between one call from Russia and another to Russia on that day, Trump, Jr., spoke for three or four minutes to someone whose phone number was blocked. This raised the question of whether Trump, Jr., had advised his father of the planned meeting—which both the President and his son have long denied. Under Nunes, the committee declined to issue a subpoena to the telephone company to determine whether Trump, Jr., had been talking with his father. Schiff told me that, when he takes over the committee, one of his first orders of business will be to issue such a subpoena.
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) December 14, 2018
Schiff also pledged to look into Donald Trump’s personal finances, a threat already made by New York state’s incoming attorney general. (RELATED: Incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James Pledges to Go After Trump.)
However, the search for the phone record is important because if it does in fact prove Trump knew in advance of the meeting, it would also prove that Trump lied to Robert Mueller in the written testimony he recently provided to the Special Counsel. Trump claimed to have never known about the meeting.
Presumably, if Trump lied to Mueller in what are supposed to be legal answers, there will be legal consequences, just as there were for General Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor who has been charged with lying to FBI agents. (RELATED: Trump Defends Flynn – ‘He Didn’t Lie, Mueller Pushed That Claim’.)
Still no collusion
Trump lying to Mueller is bad enough. Still, any independent observer can see this has little to do with Russian collusion at this point. It’s unclear if the meeting was actually a crime to begin with, or if it was a blatant setup. (RELATED: Proof the Trump Tower Meeting Was a Setup.)
President Trump should still step lightly, though. Adam Schiff and his media supporters are out for blood. And they intend to get it.