Steven Ahle| Opinion| As soon as the Democrats took over the House, Adam Schiff immediately sent a letter to NeverTrumper Dan Coats instructing him to hide the transcripts of dozens of witnesses in the Russian collusion probe.
And Coats complied even though those transcripts were declassified. The reason he did this is simple. The transcripts contain exculpatory evidence and he wanted it to remain hidden until after the 2016 election.
Investigative reporter, John Solomon is the one that brought Schiff’s letter into the light. He found out about the letter through Just The News.
Schiff did not want the White House and their lawyers to see the transcript because it would aid in the defense of President Trump. If it ever got out of the ODNI then the White House would get to examine them in order to redact anything covered by Executive Privilege.
Via John Solomon:
Shortly after Schiff took over from Republican Rep. Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 2019, he sent a letter to the office of then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
The letter obtained by Just the News specifically ordered that the witness transcripts — some of which contained exculpatory evidence for President Trump’s team — not be shared with Trump or White House lawyers even if the declassification process required such sharing.
“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
“Such transcripts remain the sole property of HPSCI, and were transmitted to ODNI for the limited purpose of enabling a classification review by IC elements and the Department of Justice,” Schiff added.
Committee Republicans are also in the dark about the ODNI’s review of the 43 transcripts.
Schiff’s letter to Coats states that his staff was briefed earlier in March 2019 about how ODNI planned to handle the declassification, including the need for White House lawyers to review certain transcripts for information that could be covered by executive privilege.
It was that process that set off the alarm bells for Schiff’s team, the letter shows.
Republicans had hoped the witnesses’ testimonies would be released before the 2018 election so Americans could see some of the problems with the Russia probe and the false narrative of collusion that had been foisted on the public. That never happened, and the declassification efforts dragged into 2019, when Democrats took control of the House.