Seemingly unable to resist a perceived opportunity in his ongoing vendetta against President Donald Trump and his administration, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a letter on Tuesday to the Office of acting Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Richard Grenell making a series of demands for documents and testimony while announcing the launch of new investigations into certain “organizational and personnel changes” made by Grenell during his tenure.
That letter from Schiff was met with sharp criticism from Grenell as well as from anonymous senior intelligence officials, who all separately noted that Schiff’s letter was leaked to the media prior to delivery, that it had been sent from his office alone, and that he was seeking to hold Grenell and others accountable for things they weren’t prohibited from doing, The Daily Caller reported.
Schiff accuses Grenell
Schiff’s letter to Grenell, the congressman first addressed the “organizational and personnel changes” made by Grenell at the ODNI without consultation with or authorization from Congress. Schiff proceeded to accuse Grenell of politicizing the ODNI and replacing career officials with partisan loyalists.
Schiff reminded Grenell of the temporary nature of his “acting” designation and asserted that it was “inappropriate” for him to make any “leadership, organizational, or staffing changes” to the agency he currently helms. Schiff particularly took issue with the recent firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the IG who forwarded the Ukraine “whistleblower” complaint to Congress in 2019 that sparked Schiff’s futile impeachment effort.
The letter also accused Grenell’s staff of “inappropriately interfering” with and politicizing election security matters, a rehash of Schiff’s tired trope about foreign election interference, this time in reference to the upcoming 2020 election. The chairman set a deadline of April 16 for Grenell to turn over a plethora of relevant documents on all of these issues and strongly implied that Grenell himself would need to testify in person before the committee.
Intel officials respond
But in the view of at least some senior intelligence officials, it is Schiff who has politicized and inappropriately interfered with the intelligence community that his committee is tasked with overseeing.
“The [ODNI] staffers are so sick and tired of [Schiff] politicizing the intelligence community for his own gain,” one official told The Daily Caller. “Notice how he sent the letter to the media before he sent it to ODNI.”
The leak to the media of Schiff’s letter prior to its delivery to the ODNI also caught Grenell’s attention, and he tweeted on Tuesday, “His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me. These press leaks politicizing the intelligence community must stop.”
Another unnamed intelligence official told The Daily Caller that, regardless of what may be heard in the media or implied by Schiff’s letter, the Senate Intelligence Committee had never instructed Grenell or anyone else at the ODNI to refrain from making any organizational or personnel changes during his tenure as acting director.
Speaking of the Senate committee, it was also noted by one official that letters from that committee were always signed off on by both the chairman and ranking member, often as well as other interested senators. In contrast, the letter from Schiff was signed by Schiff alone and not ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), though Schiff at least deemed his counterpart worthy of being “CC’d” on the letter.
Impeachment remains the goal
Undoubtedly still sore from defeat in his attempted impeachment earlier this year, Schiff is back at it again with his incessant efforts to harass and potentially remove President Trump from office.
Similar to the last time, Schiff is once again trying to manufacture offenses and to punish administration officials for simply doing their jobs, and it is long past time for this wasteful display of partisan spite to end.