According to a new report, Rep. Adam Schiff dared to do the unthinkable just to discredit the release of the controversial FISA memo.
Believe it or not, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee decided to leak classified information to undermine the credibility of the four-page document and the committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes. As reported by Law&Crime, Schiff may have leaked classified information to reporters on Friday while discrediting the controversial memo. On this opportunity, he said that the central claim of this document was “unfounded.”
Apparently, he made this move a couple of minutes after saying that the release of this document would trigger a “constitutional crisis” in the United States.
As everyone knows, the four-page memo revealed that Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t disclose the political biases of a source when seeking a FISA warrant on President Trump’s former aide Carter Page.
The Democrat told the mainstream media that the four-page document’s claims were “not accurate.” In addition, he pointed out that the FISA court was actually made aware of the “likely political motivation” behind the salacious anti-Trump dossier made by former British spy Christopher Steele.
As noted by CNN, media outlets such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal reported this, citing anonymous sources.
According to Law&Crime, the elements that represented a potential leak of classified information were Schiff’s remarks about whether or not the FISA court was aware of the former MI6 spy’s political motivations.
As noted by legal experts and this outlet, the reason why that amount to leaking classified information is because President Trump only authorized to declassify the controversial FISA memo.
The president didn’t authorize the declassification of information about the FISA warrant on Carter Page, which actually remains classified.
Given this situation, many analysts agreed that the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee may have gone way beyond what was in the public record just to undermine the credibility of the controversial memo, potentially leaking classified information.
However, they also agreed that it would be extremely complicated to find many objections to his comments. This way, it seems quite difficult that Schiff suffers any kind of legal consequence because of this move.
According to the Washington Examiner, the director of government secrecy project at the Federation of American Scientists Steven Aftergood made a clear explanation about this delicate issue.
He pointed out that Schiff’s comments could definitely be problematic in the abstract, given the fact that he went beyond the official public record. Nevertheless, Aftergood explained that under current circumstances, it is “hard for me to imagine anyone objecting.”
The Examiner also noted that an attorney named Mark Zaid, who has worked national security cases dealing with classified information, said that his comments would probably fall into a very “gray area.”
Zaid explained that most legal experts would have serious concerns about the details in Schiff’s statement “at first blush,” as to whether it actually crosses some kind of classification line.
However, Zaid detailed that it’s quite possible that Schiff knows these points are in unclassified paragraphs considering that he had access to the underlying classified information.
Zaid explained that given this particular situation, it can be said that “these back and forths” about the controversial four-page memo are in a gray area of classification.
While there are some analysts that believe Schiff leaked classified information by making those remarks, almost everyone agrees that this situation will be really hard to solve.
Getting to this point, another element that remains unclear is whether or not the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee made those comments knowing the legal ambiguity of its content.
Over the last few days, Schiff has made a lot of efforts in discrediting the content of the controversial memo, considering the way it harms the Democratic Party.
After all, in what seemed to be an easy victory for Democrats in the November elections, almost every single political analyst now agrees that the content of this four-page document hurts them really bad.
This way, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Republicans achieve another major triumph in this political event, which would set a tipping point for a party which the only strategy seems to be opposing to everything related to this administration.