Adam Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been accused of leaking sensitive material so regularly that former CIA Director Mike Pompeo wants him to lose access to it.
“During my time as CIA director and secretary of state, I know that he leaked classified information that had been provided to him,” Pompeo said, noting that Schiff had a pivotal part in the Trump-Russia probe, which was plagued with media leaks for years.
“It’s a complicated process, right? It’s difficult to pin down precisely what happened,” Pompeo said. “But I could tell you that when we provided information to him and to his staff, it ended up in places it shouldn’t have been with alarming regularity. We could see it. In the end, I decided I held back information from them as a result.”
Schiff’s office replied to Pompeo’s statements by labeling them “false and defamatory.”
“This is another patently false and defamatory statement from Mike Pompeo. While we understand that Adam Schiff is a favorite target for the failed lackeys of the Trump administration running for president, reputable news outlets shouldn’t repeat these falsehoods,” Schiff spokesperson Lauren French said of the former CIA director’s remarks to Fox News.
McCarthy justified his removal of Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee last week.
“Let me be very clear and respectful to you,” McCarthy responded at one point. “You ask me a question, when I answer it, it’s the answer to your question. You don’t get to determine whether I answer your question or not, okay? With all respect, thank you. No, no. Let’s answer her question.”
“You just raised the question. I will be very clear with you. The Intel Committee is different, well, you know why? Because what happens in the Intel Committee, you don’t know. What happens in the Intel committee, other secrets are going on the world, other members of Congress don’t know,” McCarthy said.
“You have not had the briefing that I had,” McCarthy continued.
“I had the briefing, and Nancy Pelosi had the briefing from the FBI. The FBI never came before this Congress to tell the leadership of this Congress that Eric Swalwell had a problem with the Chinese spy until he served on Intel,” McCarthy continued.
“So it wasn’t just us who were concerned about it, the FBI was concerned about putting a member of Congress on the Intel committee that has the right to see things that others don’t, because of his knowledge and relationship with a Chinese spy,” he said.
McCarthy stated in a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries that he would not restore Schiff or Eric Swalwell.
“I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as a sole criterion for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more,” he wrote.
“It is my assessment that the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congress severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions ultimately leaving our nation less safe,” he added. “Therefore, as we enter a new Congress, I am committed to returning the Intelligence Committee to one of genuine honesty and credibility that retains the trust of the American people.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, has introduced the “Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses” (PENCIL) Resolution, which would restrict Schiff’s access to all sensitive material.
“The resolution expresses the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that Congressman Adam Schiff should not have access to classified information, should be investigated by the House Ethics Committee, and should have his comments made during any proceeding of Congress regarding Russian Collusion and the Trump campaign be officially struck from the record,” Gaetz’s office said in a statement.
“Every member of Congress can access classified information by virtue of their election. Only the most egregious actions would warrant removal, and Adam Schiff has undoubtedly crossed the Rubicon,” Gaetz told Fox News. “Democrats have willfully ignored the national security consequences of members like Schiff misrepresenting and leaking classified information to the press.”