Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) told Fox News on Sunday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is “trying to bury” the secret testimony of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson because it allegedly contains damaging information about the Ukraine whitsleblower’s contacts with Schiff.
“So, tell me about the evidence that you have not seen,” Fox News host Maria Bartiromo said. “There were 18 witnesses that the House prosecutors had for this. But you have not seen all 18 transcripts. Is that right?”
“That’s exactly right, Maria,” Ratcliffe responded. “The House managers kept putting up charts talking about the 17 witnesses. But there were 18. The 18th was the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson. He was the second witness interviewed on October 4. I was there.”
“It’s the one transcript out of 18 that hasn’t been released. It’s a 179-page transcript, and you can bet that if that transcript was helpful to Adam Schiff and the Democrats and harmful to President Trump, everyone would have seen it by now,” Ratcliffe continued. “But, instead, it’s just the opposite. It’s the one transcript that talks about Adam Schiff and the whistleblower. Now, everyone knows by now that Adam Schiff was not truthful about his contacts with the whistleblower.”
“What they don’t know and what’s in that transcript is that the whistleblower wasn’t truthful about his contacts with Adam Schiff. This whole thing started, Maria, when a whistleblower filed a complaint with the inspector general, under penalty of perjury, that wasn’t true and correct, made representations in writing and then verbally that weren’t true and correct,” Ratcliffe concluded on the matter. “And when we found that out and tried to get into the details of that, Adam Schiff, who was in charge of this investigation, shut it down, and now he’s trying to bury that transcript.”
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President’s Trump lawyers taking center stage at his impeachment trial yesterday, beginning their opening statements arguing that the case for removing the president is politically motivated.
Joining me right now is Texas Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe. He is a former federal prosecutor who sits on House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. He is a also a member of the president’s defense team. And, Congressman, it’s always a pleasure to see you. Thank you for being here.
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): Great to be with you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: One of the most important and obvious pieces of evidence in this entire trial is the transcript from the phone call President Trump and Mr. Zelensky. Did the House managers read the transcript?
RATCLIFFE: Well, you hit the nail on the head, Maria.
And I think I heard Senator Graham say that, in just two hours, the president’s defense team was able to unravel 22 hours of testimony from the House managers. That was done very effectively yesterday, because the House managers have created a case out of nothing.
And they have done it by misrepresenting facts and making up facts. And you’re right. It starts with the transcript.
If the transcript of the call between President Trump and President Zelensky showed anything wrong, much less anything criminal or impeachable, why wouldn’t you just read that into the record?
Instead, what the House managers did was, they tried to make up their own transcript. They tried to make up one that was better, that said what they wanted it to say, what they needed it to say.
Adam Schiff did that. And that was made very clear to the audience listening yesterday.
So, that was just one example of where the House managers have overplayed their hand. They have tried to create facts, make up facts, misrepresent facts.
The people watching on Saturday got just a little taste of that. On Monday, that is going to continue. It’s ultimately going to show that this whole thing was an impeachment that is a house of cards built on a bed of quicksand.
And I do think the president’s going to be acquitted quickly later this week.
BARTIROMO: Let’s talk about that, because I want to show a clip of one of the clips that your team ran yesterday, because it feels like there was a fair amount of cutting and pasting here in terms of saying, this happened. But then your team said, well, let’s listen to the rest of the sentence.
Here is Ambassador Sondland and the clips that ran yesterday. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL PURPURA, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: In his public testimony, Ambassador Sondland used variations of words assume, presume, guess, speculate and belief over 30 times. Here are some examples.
GORDON SONDLAND, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION: That was my presumption. My personal presumption. That was my belief. That was my presumption, yes. As I said, I presumed that might have to be done in order to get the aid released.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Is this best evidence, the best witness for the House prosecutors, as they try to impeach a president for the second time in two-and-a-half centuries, sir?
RATCLIFFE: Yes, that’s what they said. They told you he was their star witness. He was the one that Adam Schiff told you that clearly said there was a quid pro quo, and that Ambassador Sondland said that unequivocally, until you heard what Ambassador Sondland really said. And that clip tells it.
And his testimony also said, the president told him directly just the opposite. So it is that kind of misrepresentation, twisting of the facts that the Democrats did for three days that we’re going to continue to expose on Monday to the American people and show what a hoax this thing really was.
BARTIROMO: So, tell me about the evidence that you have not seen. You are one of only two congressmen that were able to see the redacted documents throughout the entire Russia collusion narrative that went on.
It is you, because of you, Trey Gowdy, Devin Nunes, that I knew that this was actually not true that the whole media landscape was going with that there was any collusion. There were 18 witnesses that the House prosecutors had for this. But you have not seen all 18 transcripts. Is that right?
RATCLIFFE: That’s exactly right, Maria. The House managers kept putting up charts talking about the 17 witnesses. But there were 18. The 18th was the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson. He was the second witness interviewed on October 4. I was there.
It’s the one transcript out of 18 that hasn’t been released. It’s a 179-page transcript, and you can bet that if that that transcript was helpful to Adam Schiff and the Democrats and harmful to President Trump, everyone would have seen it by now.
But, instead, it’s just the opposite. It’s the one transcript that talks about Adam Schiff and the whistleblower. Now, everyone knows by now that Adam Schiff was not truthful about his contacts with the whistleblower.
What they don’t know and what’s in that transcript is that the whistleblower wasn’t truthful about his contacts with Adam Schiff. This whole thing started, Maria, when a whistleblower filed a complaint with the inspector general, under penalty of perjury, that wasn’t true and correct, made representations in writing and then verbally that weren’t true and correct.
And when we found that out and tried to get into the details of that, Adam Schiff, who was in charge of this investigation, shut it down, and now he’s trying to bury that transcript.
BARTIROMO: Now, this is not very different than what we saw over the two-and-a-half years of hysteria the country went through, where Adam Schiff went on the news, went on a lot of TV shows, and I remember specifically what he said.
He said, there is collusion in plain sight. He said it over and over again. And what we have learned this week from the Department of Justice was that Carter Page FISA warrant lacked probable cause.
The Department of Justice admits in declassified assessment that there was unlawful surveillance against Carter Page, exactly the opposite of what Adam Schiff wrote.
Let’s show this tweet that Adam Schiff put out back in 2018 after your colleague Devin Nunes came out with the Nunes memo basically detailing all the wrongdoing that happened at the top of the FBI.
He writes: “The release of the Carter Page FISA application makes clear once again that the FBI acted lawfully and appropriately. This hasn’t stopped the president and Republicans from repeating the same fraudulent talking points in the discredited Nunes memo.”
Now, more than a year later, we know for a fact that the Nunes memo was accurate and the Nunes memo was truthful. And Adam Schiff, I don’t know what he was looking at that you weren’t. Isn’t it true that you and Trey Gowdy were the only two congressmen who saw the actual redacted documents, and that’s how you knew there was no collusion and that he was being framed?
The other person to see those same documents that you saw was Adam Schiff. How is it possible that you came on this program a year ago and said, Maria, there’s exculpatory evidence, and Adam Schiff wrote a tweet like that?
RATCLIFFE: Yes. Well, you’re right, Maria. Trey and I were the designees on our side able to see those documents. Adam Schiff was one of the designees on their side that was able to see that.
So you can imagine how remarkable it was for me to sit in the Senate and for three days listen to Adam Schiff spin this Ukraine hoax without any evidence to support it, at the same time that these details that you just mentioned, Maria, are coming out about the last hoax that he played such a prominent role in, the Russia hoax, because it was Adam Schiff who was leading the charge on that, who said he had evidence that Donald Trump was a Russian agent, he had evidence of a Russian conspiracy.
And he was the one that came out and said, when we raised questions about the FISA process and the withholding of exculpatory evidence, the using of a dossier that was known to be fake and phony as the central part of it…
RATCLIFFE: … he knew all of that, and he was the one that said, no, that’s not true, put out a memo, said President Trump and Republicans aren’t telling you the truth about that. That’s the very same person who is now out there spinning this Ukraine hoax, his latest impeachment effort.
RATCLIFFE: It wasn’t true about Russia. It’s not true about Ukraine. And the problem…
BARTIROMO: So, part of your defense – yes, go ahead, real quick.
RATCLIFFE: Well, the problem is this, is that Adam Schiff says things that he knows are not true with supreme conviction.
BARTIROMO: Right. Congressman, thank you.
RATCLIFFE: And that’s why Democrats think that makes him effective. We think that makes him dangerous.
BARTIROMO: Well, it seems that part of the defense is an indictment of Adam Schiff’s character. Do you believe the president will be acquitted?
RATCLIFFE: He will be acquitted, I think, by the end of this week.
BARTIROMO: Okay, Congressman, good to see you. Thank you, sir.
RATCLIFFE: You bet.