When Adam Schiff’s fire starter brick of an impeachment report dropped on Tuesday, nothing incriminating against President Donald Trump or his administration was reported, but there was a bombshell in it.
Somehow, Adam Schiff got a hold of the metadata on Rep. Devin Nunes’s phone.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Schiff declined to say when the committee had obtained the records, but given the Democrats’ repeated questions during the inquiry about administration officials who had worked with Nunes, such as former Intelligence Committee staffer (now National Security Council official) Kash Patel, it is likely the Democrats sought those records before or during the hearings.
The report cites media reports that Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who has ben indicted on campaign finance charges, claimed that Nunes tried to meet with Ukrainians to “dig up dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden. (Nunes had threatened to sue those media outlets, and did so on Tuesday, suing CNN for defamation; he does not appear to have been given an opportunity to answer the allegations in the report.)
Shifts report also cites “phone records” showing apparent conversations between Giuliani and Nunes, as well as Parnas and Nunes, in April 2019, around the time that then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was criticized in the media. The report also cites records of phone calls between Giuliani and Nunes staffer Derek Harvey, as well as between Giuliani and Patel. The phone records were apparently obtained from AT&T, according to a footnote in the report.
Seriously, though, how did Schiff get them. Records like that are only available through a special sort of a warrant and are to be pulled for suspicions regarding national security, not political purposes. So, the question needs to be asked: how did the Intelligence Committee get such records?