On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) released phone records of individuals close to President Trump. His personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as well as House Intel Committee Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and former Hill reporter John Solomon are among those on this list.
The call logs were buried in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report. This was done to allege that Giuliani made numerous phone calls with someone in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB’s responsibility was to oversee the freezing of $400 million of Ukrainian military aid before it was released last summer.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the allegation by House Democrats is in serious question. In fact, the phone number that Giuliani called is likely not a number even associated with the OMB. The OMB has said that Giuliani’s calls were not received by anyone at the organization.
It appears that the phone number is generic and serves multiple purposes. It’s also linked to the White House Political Affairs office and the US Trade Representative’s offices.
Schiff’s Report Is Undermined
Schiff and House Democrats are trying to prove that Giuliani and President Trump abused presidential power. They believe Trump bribed Ukraine on a July 27th phone call with the Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Democrats are questioning why Trump asked Zolensky to “do us a favor” and investigate former Vice-President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden on allegations of corruption.
Trump has asserted that Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of Burisma Holdings Ltd, a Ukranian energy company, was highly questionable. He had no background in energy or in Ukrainian affairs. Other than being the son of the Vice-President, Trump questioned what business Hunter Biden had of being on the board of Burisma making $50,000 per week.
Schiff’s faux pas release of the phone logs is significant and demonstrates his lack of research and rush to judgment. The phone number was used as a part of circumstantial evidence in the impeachment report to prove that Giuliani followed Trump’s directions to pressure Ukraine. There are no recordings of conversations nor has anyone come forward to state the specific nature or content of Giuliani’s call.
In the impeachment report, it specifically says of Giuliani’s August 8th supposed call to the OMB:
“In the mid-afternoon, someone using a telephone number associated with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) called Mr. Giuliani, and the call lasted for nearly 13 minutes… Mr. Giuliani called the OMB number and the White House Situation Room several more times that evening, but each time connected for only a few seconds or not at all.”
In the report, Democrats did not explain how the phone records were obtained. Additionally, in an interview with Schiff, he refused to answer how he got the phone logs.
Some House Republican’s Want Revenge
On Wednesday, some conservative House members asked Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to subpoena Schiff’s phone records to make a point: if Democrats can do it, so can Republicans.
However, Graham responded by saying, “We’re not going to do that.”
Republicans are ready for the House to pass the impeachment and send it to the Senate for a conviction and removal hearing. The Republican Senate has already indicated they will hold a trial and that they are in lockstep with the notion that Trump will not be removed.
Meanwhile, House Republicans want to put Democrats in the House on trial, including Schiff, for what many of them label a “sham” process. However, Graham is indicating that it’s not likely to happen.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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