Our topics de jure as you may have heard, well, the House Select intel chair, Adam Schiff was caught red-handed coordinating with the alleged whistleblower before being sent to the Intel community’s IG Atkinson, and then lying about it after the fact. What punishment should be inflicted upon him? Also, the democratic-led house provably violates all precedent by claiming they’ve met the standard of an impeachment inquiry to access documents while not having actually held a house-wide vote. What’s going to follow there? Also, the democrat-led house argument against Trump is that shared corruption investigations between nations somehow become illegal once they unearth politicians from their side of the aisle. Are they high, drunk, or senile?
Also, the democratic-led house doesn’t hold house-wide vote on impeachment inquiry. Why? So, they can deny the GOP minority party subpoena powers. You know, the ones necessary for the Trump administration to perhaps mount a defense with countering witnesses. So, what will the electorate think of that? Any who, we have assisting, in the opining and analyzing, offer to the show Robert “Bobby” Charles, spokesperson for AMAC. He’s also a frequent commentator on Fox Television, radio, and also in print. He served in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, also, he was Assistant Secretary of State under General Colin Powell. And by the way, is author of the widely read and highly praised book entitled World War II veterans… Well, I should say it’s on World War II veterans, excuse me, and the title is “Eagles and Evergreens.” Good to have you back, Bobby. How are you today?
Thank you, sir, it’s always good to be back.
Great to have you. Well, let me dive right into this, because I – forgive me everybody I’m in great shape, I do three hundred push-ups every other day, I do lots of sit-ups and everything and I just came running down into the studios – we’re running a little behind – so forgive me if I’m catching my breath, but… Let me dive right into it. You got Republicans who are continuing to rake over the coals this house Intel chair Adam Schiff. Why? Because he lied about his reported coordination with a whistleblower that’s triggered of course this current impeachment drama we’re all facing. Unexpectedly, even the Washington Post chided Schiff on the lie. They actually gave him four Pinocchio’s over the denial. Now, just for those needing a catch-up, Chairman Schiff, not long ago, said quote, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.
We would like to, but I’m sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised as the law requires by the Inspector General or the Director of National Intelligence, just as to how he has to communicate with Congress, and so, the risk of the whistleblower is – well, to the whistleblower – is retaliation.” Unquote. Now, again Bobby, the key takeaway is when he said, quote “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” Unquote. Now, while he had to eventually capitulate and admit that his committee’s Democratic colleagues indeed had spoken with the whistleblower, he tried to dial it back saying nothing inappropriate had happened. But, Bobby, since this isn’t the first time he has verifiably lied about possessing evidence which later proved non-existent. You know, the non-materialized Russian collusion conspiracy evidence. You got to wonder, why should he ever be taken seriously? Why should he be taken seriously now? Bobby?
Well, the short answer to your question is, he shouldn’t be. What you have pointed out is the most recent and probably the most flagrant example of a misstatement of facts, which serves him politically, but it’s factually wrong and he knows it. And I think what we’re really looking at here is something emblematic of a much larger phenomenon. The house is in an all-out sprint to try to get through impeachment, and the reason I think is because there’s a big train coming into the station, we have a lot of things happening that are about to happen. The Pfizer report coming down from the IG and the DOJ.
You’ve got the US Attorney in Connecticut having done an enormous number of interviews beginning to put and crystallize what the origins of the Russia collusion debacle were all about. You have more than 130 interviews having recently been done, in the State Department, looking back very closely at all of the Hillary Clinton emails and as they may tie into the origins of this Russia collusion probe. And so, what you’re seeing is a panic reaction and many of the facts that you let in with are directly related to that. The fact that there is no chamber wide vote that has been taken to initiate a true impeachment investigation, as is historically done and has been done, and frankly both for the purposes of judges and in the rare cases of a presidential impeachment effort. They just rushed it and that didn’t take the vote, and that’s why the President, I think, said, look, if you’re going to initiate this, there are rules. We don’t just throw the rulebook out the window.
And you have to initiate. But there’s a bigger – there’s a much bigger phenomenon afoot here and I think it really is, to my view as an attorney, as someone who’s worked in the government and as someone who’s worked outside the government, you know, we’re taught that the rule of law matters. We’re taught that we follow judicious constraints, particularly when we’re doing something very serious, very grave. And this is very grave. And instead, what you see here, is Schiff and others in his company – the, you know, 150 plus members of their caucus – have decided that this is a game. This is the best way to delegitimize the president. Of course, in the process, they’re disenfranchising the American people, because the American people elected this president.
So, it is, to me, it’s a dangerous game and it’s not something that should be treated as a game at all. Impeachment is one of the most sober-minded provisions that was placed in the Constitution by the founders. Just go back and look at what Jefferson and Madison and others said about it. This is not something – this is not a sword you take out lightly – and so what do we have? We have an innocuous phone call that was made by the president in an effort as apparently calls were made all over the world to try to get cooperation on the origins of the Russian collusion probe, and in that conversation he also referenced what many understood to be a potential criminal violation, or at least a conflict of interest by the prior administration.
I frankly, have a bold question which may yet make news in this very next 30 seconds, and that is having carefully studied the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act I wonder if Joe Biden wasn’t, in fact, in direct violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as amended in 1998. What he was doing was affectively seeking to threaten or bribe a foreign official for personal gain, and I really – I wonder aloud whether that isn’t something the Justice Department is really looking at. Is it wrong to ask foreign governments through letters rogatory or otherwise to cooperate with us on a criminal investigation in the United States? Of course, it’s not. That’s completely appropriate.
Let me ask you something Assistant Secretary. The Democrats are arguing that, because the Whistleblower Law says that the intelligence community shall forward to Congress that whistleblowers complained, that the Director of National Intelligence Mr. McGuire had no right to first run it by the DOJ attorneys as well as the White House Counsel. However, the law in this case – again the whistleblower Act of 1989 is a legislative law that does not exist in a vacuum.
So, if it’s application on certain occasions happen to infringe on, let’s say, matters of executive privilege, as cited by Mr. McGuire, which is shorthand for the executive branch’s separation of powers, under constitutional law. Again, if the application on certain occasions happen to infringe on matters of executive privilege, then that higher law prevails over the aforementioned legislative law. Isn’t that fair to say? And I’m wondering, why aren’t more aware of this provably clear point, sir?
So, the point you make is valid, and that is, in a nutshell, that any filed whistleblower complaint – and I ran an oversight committee for five years, so we got whistleblower complaints directly and indirectly – any whistleblower complaint that relates to the executive branch and in particular to the president has to be reviewed. It has to be, and it’s not a 15-minute process. It has to be reviewed by counsel to understand whether or not executive privilege, which would trump any- It would trump any number of other considerations. And by the way, executive privilege is central – it is the cornerstone of executive privilege, is direct personal conversations between the president and his advisers and the president and foreign leaders. So, this is absolutely…
We’re coming up on the break, but Assistant Secretary, if you can hang on the line for just a second. Folks, you’re listening to The Alan Nathan Show, going to be right back. Former Assistant Secretary of State Robert “Bobby” Charles. He was with General Colin Powell during the Bush 41 administration. We appreciate you sticking around Bobby. Thanks again.
Yeah, you know, Alan, just the top view here. This lie, and it really is a lie, on the part of a Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Schiff. It has several dramatic effects. The first is it delegitimizes the entire probe because it suggests that he is really behind the creation or the modification of evidence that he then would sit in judgment on, and it is, in fact, the indictment, so to speak, of the President. The second is, it’s a hearsay complaint that supposedly someone else validated the fact that the call occurred.
So, I guess you technically have a first-hand observer. But the notion that he originally put forward, which is that the president was covering this up and that it was some sort of an egregious illegal call really has all crumbled like a house of cards. The fact is that the President released the transcript – we’ve all read it now. There’s nothing facially criminal in that document, but the reason that it was delayed – and you got into this a moment ago – the reason it was delayed is that you have to evaluate a whistleblower complaint for several purposes. One, you have to see whether it’s credible. I mean, it’s like a habeas petition. Anybody can say anything. So, the first thing you have to do is evaluate credibility. The second thing you have to do is evaluate whether it’s the urgent test, i.e., it needs to be discouraged immediately. And the third is whether if there’s an executive privilege claim that actually countermands of the release of the document.
Because the whistleblower Act of 1989 does not cover the president because the president is simply not a part by the intelligence community even as he’s above it, and sorry, Mr. Assistant Secretary, I assure you if somebody isn’t grasping this, it’s because they are burdened with functional illiteracy. Denotatively or connotatively. You cannot be above the intelligence community while simultaneously being a part of it. You can be the head of it, I guess, but he’s above the head. He’s got nothing – he’s not attached to the intelligence community; he is over all of it because he is the head a separate branch of government unto himself.
Now, you may have heard, that former House Government Oversight Committee Chair Trey Gowdy, he recently said on Fox that, quote, I think, meaning Schiff, only got four Pinocchio’s from the Washington Post because you can’t get five. He goes on to add, I mean, he got the maximum sentence you could get from the Washington Post Fact Checker, and don’t you know how hard that was for the Washington Post to give Adam Schiff four Pinocchio’s? Now, I have to ask you, in your estimation, how untenable might it become for Representative Schiff, because Trey Gowdy also insists that because he’s been caught in a lie that he is quote unquote “made himself a fact witness.” Gowdy also adds that, quote, “he is in the evidentiary chain for what happened with this whistleblower and I hope the Republicans make him testify.” Unquote.
So, let me ask you sir, is this perhaps one of the reasons why Democrats refuse to hold an impeachment inquiry vote? In other words, if they can’t get the votes – obviously that would be embarrassing – but even if they do get the vote, sir, that would allow the House Minority Republicans to also have subpoena powers, meaning that the Democrats witnesses would actually be countered by witnesses for Trump’s defense with Schiff, ironically, among them. Isn’t that fair to point out?
You make a very good point. Legally, both about the fact that there is no IG that covers the White House and that a vote taken on the House floor would empower for the first time, as it normally should, Republicans to participate in both the investigation and the crafting of articles, if they were crafted. I think it’s very damning. I think that what Schiff has done essentially, is not only undermined his own legitimacy but the legitimacy of the probe and I think he’s subjected himself here to a deposition.
I mean honestly, I if I were on the other side in any other party environment and someone appeared – a prosecutor appeared to be creating evidence that was then used against me, if you’d have a right to go immediately and evaluate that and potentially undertake a deposition. But I will add one last footnote to this, and that is, this is not the first time – I mean, yes, this one they’re trying to fan the flames into something that will become impeachment, which I think will be a tremendous strategic error on their part. I think the Democrats may lose 100 seats in this cycle if they continue down this path.