Lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) kept a straight face on Thursday as he complained on the Senate floor about Republicans using an "unsubstantiated press article" to "smear" members of his staff. Rep. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is the same person who used the debunked Steele Dossier for years to promote his Russia Collusion myth in order to smear Trump and the president's allies. Schiff also attempted to smear Rep. Nunes (R-CA), as well as current and former members of Nunes' staff, by including their personal phone records in Mr. Schiff’s 300-page impeachment report. Furthermore, Schiff lied about his staff's contact with the whistleblower.
"First of all," Rep. Schiff began on Thursday, "there have been a lot of attacks on my staff. As I said when this issue came up earlier, I'm appalled at some of the smearing of the professional people who work for the Intelligence Committee ... I will not dignify those smears on my staff by giving them any credence whatsoever. Nor will I share any information that I believe could or could not lead to the identification of the whistleblower. I want to be very clear about something. Members of this body used to care about the protection of whistleblower identities. They didn't used to gratuitously attack members of committee staff. But now they do. Now they do. Now they'll take an unsubstantiated press article and use it to smear my staff. I think that's disgraceful. I think it's disgraceful."
According to a report in the New York Times, the whistleblower met with Schiff's committee before the whistleblower's complaint became public. Even the Washington Post had to call Schiff out for lying about his staff's prior contact with the whistleblower. On Sunday, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said in an interview that Chairman Schiff was attempting to bury the transcript of the 18th witness, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, because the transcript reveals that the whistleblower, "under penalty of perjury," "made representations in writing and verbally that weren't true and correct." Rep. Ratcliffe witnessed the inspector general's testimony in person.
The Texas congressman has previously called out Chairman Schiff for covering up the FBI's abuses in the FISA warrant process used to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The abuses have since been confirmed by Inspector General Michael Horowitz's investigation, and the FISA court has since called its warrants not valid. Schiff looked at the same evidence as Rep. Ratcliffe but, unlike Ratcliffe, denied that any abuses in the FISA process took place and accused Republicans of lying about it.