We are now at the point where Democrats will subpoena the phone records for attorneys and journalists in order to pursue their desires to oust President Donald Trump.
Recall that this is not the first time Democrats have abused their power in order to target private citizens. The entire narrative that Trump’s 2016 campaign was colluding with Russia began when the Obama administration used flimsy connections and statements from low-level Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos to open FISA warrants into them and the campaign.
Democrats are doing the same thing now, but instead of collusion with Russia, the narrative has changed to collusion with Ukraine. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) subpoenaed phone records from AT&T in order to selectively highlight connections between Lev Parnas (who has been indicted for campaign finance charges), Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and The Hill columnist John Solomon. An impeachment report from House Democrats included phone records, which should raise serious questions about the right to privacy, which left-leaning media outlets have used to further knock Trump, Giuliani, and Solomon.
The Washington Post’s media reporter, Erik Wemple, took Solomon to task for his phone calls with Giuliani, Parnas (who was not under indictment went he spoke with Solomon), and Yuriy Lutsenko (Ukraine’s prosecutor general). On March 20, Solomon posted an article based on an interview he had with Lutsenko, which Parnas helped translate. The article stated that Lutsenko claimed the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, had provided him a “do-not-prosecute list.” Wemple attempted to smack Solomon for his reporting because The New York Times reported last month that the “list” was a translation error before proceeding to report that Yovanovitch had provided a list of politicians for Lutsenko to avoid targeting.
Couched between criticism of Solomon, Wemple admits that journalists are supposed to call sources, even “unsavory” ones. Several paragraphs later, however, he again smears Solomon for relying on Parnas, who was months later indicted on campaign finance charges. From Wemple:
In comments to CNN, Solomon said, “Parnas was very helpful to me in getting Ukraine officials on the record. I only gradually realized Lev was working for other people, including Rudy Giuliani.” Parnas is also under indictment for lying and falsifying records — not the best credentials for a key source.
Again, Parnas was indicted seven months after Solomon’s article posted, on charges unrelated to what Solomon reported, so being critical of him for using such a source is just petty.
Solomon also published an article in April that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine refused to issue visas for those willing to provide information that was damaging against U.S. Democrats. House Democrats claimed in their impeachment report that this reporting was false. Solomon issued a lengthy response to the Post regarding his reporting:
I wrote a single column in spring 2019 that touched on Ambassador Yovanovitch and more broadly on the US embassy in Kyiv and its difficult relationship with Ukrainian prosecutors. That column accurately reported:
1.) That in 2018 a GOP House committee chairman sent an official letter to the State Department recommending Yovanovitch be recalled. I posted a copy of the document and State confirmed it received the letter.
2.) That the US embassy had funded a civil society group known as the AntiCorruption Action Centre along with George Soros’ foundation and others and later sent a letter in April 2016 pressing Ukraine prosecutors not to investigate the group. I posted that letter. And George Kent recently testified he signed and sent the letter.
3.) That US and Ukraine officials were engaged in a dispute over certain prosecutions on Ukraine soil involving anti-corruption activists. Prosecutor General Lutsenko claimed on the record the ambassador gave him a list of citizens not to prosecute during a 2016 meeting. The State Department claimed that did not happen, calling it a fabrication. Both sides were quoted, including State officials who acknowledged they occasionally applied pressure on Ukrainian prosecutors not to pursue certain cases against Ukraine citizens deemed friendly to the US. George Kent recently confirmed several specific instances where such pressure was applied involving probes of people like [Vitalii] Shabunin, [Artem] Sytnyk, [Serhiy] Leschenko and [the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine].
I took extensive time to get State’s side of the story and present it along with Ukraine’s stated concerns. That’s hardly a smear. It’s good journalism.
Wemple contends that there was never any story to report and that Solomon “had a well-documented history of flimsy and slanted stories.” That’s a rich accusation to make coming an outlet that routinely uses anonymous “people familiar with the matter” to churn out articles negative to the president. And articles from the Post (and other outlets) that have needed corrections are always slanted against Republicans and Trump, too.
In response to the Democrats’ report that included Solomon, The Hill decided not to stand by its reporter and journalism (which necessitated calling multiple sources multiple times, and remember we don’t have his full list of contacts, just a selective sample culled by Democrats), but instead to open an investigation into Solomon’s work.
House Democrats didn’t just target the president’s personal attorney and a journalist, they also went after their chief rival on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Politico reported that Democrats also published call logs between Nunes and Giuliani and Nunes and Parnas. The outlet reached out to Schiff for comment on Nunes’ inclusion in the report, but does not appear to have reached out to Nunes for comment. Schiff allegedly “declined to comment on Nunes’ inclusion in the report,” before commenting on Nunes’ inclusion in the report.
“It is deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Schiff told the outlet.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Nunes called Schiff’s publishing of the phone records “a gross abuse of power.”
“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.”