The big takeaway from The New York Times’ bombshell report on the House Intelligence Committee Chair’s connection to the whistleblower complaint that sparked the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not what the paper intended, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh argued Wednesday.
“This is a New York Times’ attempt to praise [Democratic Rep. Adam] Schiff for really sharp political maneuvering and thinking,” Limbaugh told his audience Wednesday (transcript via RushLimbaugh.com). But what the left-leaning paper has actually accomplished, said Rush, is to officially blow up the entire “whistleblower” narrative.
“It looks like this whole whistleblower thing is an Adam Schiff setup,” said the host, in his discussion of the Times’ big scoop.
“The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials,” the Times reported Wednesday. “The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s government to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.”
“The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.’s top lawyer,” the report continues. “Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide. In both cases, the original accusation was vague. The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff. The aide did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff, an official said.”
“Let me give you the upshot,” said Rush after reading the first two paragraphs of the article. “The guy was not a whistleblower. He went to Adam Schiff first.”
“Apparently what happened is the person we know as the whistleblower was not a whistleblower,” he said. “He went to Adam Schiff after he’d been told secondhand what had happened on the phone call. He went to Schiff. Schiff is who had him fill out the whistleblower form. The guy did not do it on his own initiative.”
“A C.I.A. officer in the White House went to Adam Schiff, much like Christine Blasey Ford went to Dianne Feinstein!” Rush exclaimed. “Before going to Congress, the C.I.A. officer had a colleague convey his allegations to the agency’s top lawyer.”
“So the upshot that the New York Times does not want us to conclude is that he was not a whistleblower, that this was an act of collusion,” Limbaugh said. “Adam Schiff is colluding with this guy and suggested that he become a whistleblower, and right here it’s clearly stated that Schiff did not expect Trump to release the transcript! That was the original play to call Trump a stonewaller. Or to say that he was obstructing or, at best, covering up.”
In another segment on Wednesday, Limbaugh elaborated on his theory that the Democrats didn’t anticipate Trump agreeing to release the transcript of the July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “They were prepared to accuse him of obstruction. They were prepared to accuse him of stonewalling. That’s what they wanted, because the cover-up is always more problematic than whatever alleged crime — and Trump has not committed a crime here,” said Limbaugh, pointing to Schiff’s preemptive threats about Trump “obstructing justice” in a press conference as evidence of his theory.
“The White House needs to understand that any action like that forces us to litigate or to have to consider litigation will be considered further evidence of obstruction of justice. And of course that was an article of impeachment —” said Schiff.
“And there you have it,” said Limbaugh after playing the tape. “Schiff has his obstruction and Trump hadn’t even done anything yet! See how this works?”
Limbaugh isn’t the only one interpreting the Times’ big story on Schiff as evidence of “collusion” between the Democrats and the whistleblower. As The Daily Wire reported, Trump, Republican lawmakers, and several members of the media have responded in similar ways to the Times’ revelation.
“It shows that Schiff is a fraud,” Trump said in a press conference Wednesday. “It’s a scandal … he knew long before and [Schiff] helped write [the whistleblower complaint].”
“Chairman Adam Schiff just got caught orchestrating with the whistleblower before the complaint was ever filed,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted. “Democrats have rigged this process from the start.”