House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who has led the charge against President Donald Trump since he was inaugurated, is fighting in court to keep secret the subpoenas he issued last year as part of Democrats’ impeachment investigation into the president.
Jerry Dunleavy reported at The Washington Examiner (my former employer) that Schiff has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, who sought access to “the controversial subpoenas issued for phone records,” that led to the revealing of contact between Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and journalist John Solomon, among others.
“[Schiff’s] legal team, led by Douglas Letter, the Democratic-led House’s general counsel, told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday that ‘these requests and subpoenas were integral to the Committee’s inquiry and consistent with its mandate to investigate and issue a report’ about whether Trump should be impeached,” Dunleavy reported.
Judicial Watch’s lawsuit had argued: “The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens.” It further stated that “disclosure of the requested records would serve the public interest by providing information about the unlawful issuance of the subpoenas” and that “the requested records fall within the scope of the public’s right of access to governmental records.”
Schiff’s motion argued that Judicial Watch “has not demonstrated that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the House Defendants’ interest in non-disclosure,” adding that “it is unclear for what precise purpose” the conservative watchdog group wanted the records, claiming it “does not allege whose rights have been violated.”
More from Dunleavy:
Schiff’s lawyers cited four reasons why the court should dismiss the case: They claimed that “the doctrine of sovereign immunity” deprives the court of jurisdiction over House Democrats, argued the records sought by Judicial Watch “are absolutely protected by the Speech or Debate Clause” of the Constitution because they were obtained during impeachment, asserted that the subpoena documents are not “public records” and thus aren’t subject to the common law right of public access, and said Judicial Watch “fails to state a claim because Congress has created a comprehensive scheme for the review of government records — the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) — that preempts the common law right sought to be vindicated by this litigation.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, during the course of Schiff’s partisan investigation into whether Trump abused his power when speaking to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and then obstructed congress, phone records were selectively released to implicate Nunes, Giuliani, and Solomon in Trump’s alleged misdeeds.
Part of the attempt was to tie Solomon to Lev Parnas, who was indicted for lying and falsifying records, though Solomon spoke to Parnas for a story months before the indictment and journalists often have to speak to bad people for a story.
When The Daily Wire originally wrote that article, Nunes provided a response to Schiff’s publishing of the California Republican’s phone records.
“The Democrats’ impeachment charade is flailing, and desperate people do desperate things,” Nunes said. “So, Schiff suddenly published phone records of myself, current and former Republican staff members, and a journalist whose reporting he doesn’t like. It’s a gross abuse of power for a congressman to go after his political opponents, staffers, and reporters in this way, but it’s characteristic of the way Schiff has run this entire show. He’s going to need a long rehabilitation period when this is over.”