Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin shredded House Intelligence Committee Chairman and lead Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his contact with the Ukranian whistleblower, which led to the impeachment inquiry, and eventually the current trial. As it currently sits, we are still in the dark about what role Schiff and his staff played in the whistleblower's inquiry.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) presented the question on behalf of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).
"Is it true that Shawn Misco and Abigail Grace and the alleged whistleblower were employed by or detailed by the National Security Council in the same time period of January 20, 2017 and the present? Do you have reason to believe they knew each other and have any reason to believe that alleged whistleblower and Misco did everything they could to 'take out the president'?
"Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, the only knowledge that we have of this comes from public reports. I gather that there is a news report in some publication that suggests a name for the whistleblower and suggests where he worked and that he worked at that time while detail of the NSC staff for Vice President Biden and others who worked there," Philbin explained. "We have no knowledge of that other than what is in the public reports, and I don't want to get into speculating about that."
"It is something, to an unknown extent, may have been addressed in the testimony of the inspector general of the intelligence community before Chairman Schiff's committees, but that testimony, contacts with the whistleblower, contacts with Manager Schiff's staff and the whistleblower, are shrouded in secrecy to this day," Philbin explained.
"We don't know what the testimony of the IC IG was. It remains secret. It has not been forwarded," he said. "We don't know what Manager Schiff's staff contact with the whistleblower have been and what connections there are there. It's something that would seem to be relevant since the whistleblower started this entire inquiry."
Philbin said Trump's defense team can't say they have "particular knowledge of the facts stated In the question."
"We know there was a public report suggesting connections and prior working relationships between certain people, not something I can comment on other than to say that there's a report there. We don't know what the IC IG discussed. We don't know what the IC IG was told by the whistleblower, other reports about inaccuracies in the whistleblower's report to the IC IG. We don't know the testimony on that" he explained. "We don't know the situation of the contacts' coordination provided by Manager Schiff's staff to the whistleblower. It all remains unknown."
"It's obviously something that, to get to the bottom of motivations, bias, how this inquiry was created, could potentially be relevant," he said.