On Tuesday, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff came under heavy fire on, of all places, “The View” for his history of promoting the discredited Steele Dossier at the center of the “Russian collusion” scandal.
In recent weeks, multiple people associated with the dossier have been indicted or arrested by Special Counsel John Durham as part of his investigation into RussiaGate.
Much of the fire on Schiff came from guest host Morgan Ortagus, who served as a State Department spokeswoman during the Trump administration. Ortagus needled Schiff on his support for the dossier, which included reading part of it into the congressional record.
Ortagus’s questioning comes in the wake of the former MI6 operative and Christopher Steele’s main source for the dossier, Igor Danchenko, being indicted in the Durham probe for allegedly lying to federal officials.
A Clinton campaign lawyer, Michael Sussmann, was also indicted in the Durham probe for allegedly lying to an FBI lawyer about how much Team Hillary might have been involved in the origins of the dossier.
Ortagus asked Schiff, “We know the main source for the dossier 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?”
Schiff did his best to shift blame, replying, “Whoever lied to the FBI or lied to Christopher Steele should be prosecuted, and they are.”
Then Schiff went right back to criticizing Trump, ignoring his hyper-promotion of the Steele Dossier.
“Unlike in the Trump administration, if they’re convicted, they should go to jail and not be pardoned,” Schiff said. “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,” Schiff went on.
“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.”
Ortagus fired back, “He was fired halfway through the campaign,” referring to Manafot.
Ortagus said, “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,” Ortagus charged.
Schiff stuck to his defense, claiming that he was really just trying to get to the bottom of things:
“I completely disagree with your premise. It’s one thing to say allegations should be investigated, and they were. It’s another to say that we should have foreseen in advance that some people were lying to Christopher Steele, which is impossible, of course, to do,” Schiff said.
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