Schiff Warns Committee to Not Reveal Whistleblower Identity
Written by Warren Mass
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is managing the campaign by House Democrats to impeach President Trump, warned members of his committee in a November 12 memorandum outlining the procedures for the impeachment hearings that attempts to reveal the name of the whistleblower whose allegations fueled the Democratic-led inquiry could be regarded as a violation of congressional ethics rules.
Schiff’s admonishments and veiled threats of ethics violations to committee members noted, in part,
As explained in my November 9, 2019, response to the Ranking Member [Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)], it is important to underscore that the House’s impeachment inquiry, and the Committee, will not serve as venues for any Member to further the same sham investigations into the Bidens or into debunked conspiracies about 2016 U.S. election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to undertake for his personal political benefit. Nor will the Committee facilitate any efforts by President Trump or his allies to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously and lawfully raised concerns about the President’s conduct… The Committee has a long, proud, and bipartisan history of protecting whistleblowers —including from efforts to threaten, intimidate, retaliate against, or undermine the confidentiality of whistleblowers…. Intelligence Community personnel are shielded from any action constituting reprisal or the threat of reprisal for making disclosures in accordance with these procedures…. the Code of Official Conduct for Members of Congress requires that every Member “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” The Committee on Ethics has historically viewed this provision as “encompassing violations of law and abuses of one’s official position.”
After Republicans on the Committee unveiled their wish list for impeachment witnesses on November 9, Schiff said he would “give due consideration to witnesses within the scope of the impeachment inquiry.”
However, in a letter to Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Schiff said the whistleblower would most certainly not make the cut. Schiff called the testimony from the whistleblower “redundant and unnecessary,” referring to an “ever-growing body of evidence — from witnesses and documents, including the President’s own words in his July 25 call record” as his reason for rejecting the necessity for the whistleblower to appear. “In light of the President’s threats, the individual’s appearance before us would only place their personal safety at grave risk,” Schiff alleged.
Despite Democrats’ efforts to keep CIA operative Eric Ciaramella’s identity hidden from the public, his identity has been essentially an open secret inside the Beltway. One of the first reports mentioning his name came from Paul Sperry of Real Clear Investigations, who reported back on October 30 that Ciaramella’s name was raised privately in impeachment depositions, according to officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings, as well as in at least one open hearing held by a House committee not involved in the impeachment inquiry. The New American reported on October 30 that Democrats who feared their anonymous witness could be exposed blocked Republicans from asking more questions about him and intended to redact his name from all deposition transcripts.
Warren Mass has served The New American since its launch in 1985 in several capacities, including marketing, editing, and writing. Since retiring from the staff several years ago, he has been a regular contributor to the magazine. Warren writes from Texas and can be reached at [email protected].
Courtesy of The New American