House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) expressed his concerns with the intelligence community withholding documents that could be relevant to the upcoming Senate trial during an interview on ABC News Sunday morning.
When ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Schiff on his thoughts of Politico’s report that the intelligence community is resisting coming forward in a public hearing due to fear of angering President Trump, Schiff responded that “those reports are all too accurate” and that they’re “worried about angering the President.”
“Unfortunately, I think those reports are all too accurate,” Schiff said. “The intelligence community is reluctant to have an open hearing, something that we had done every year prior to the Trump administration, because they’re worried about angering the President.”
Schiff then said that he’s worried that the intelligence community is “succumbing to the pressure of the administration” by withholding documents from Congress that could be relevant to the Ukraine pressure campaign.
“And I’ll say something even more concerning to me, and that is the intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine. They appear to be succumbing to pressure from the administration,” Schiff said. “The NSA in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial.”
After adding that he finds the intelligence community’s withholding of documents “deeply concerning,” Schiff said that the NSA isn’t the only intelligence agency “on the same tragic course.”
“There are signs that the CIA may be on the same tragic course,” Schiff said. “We are counting on the intelligence community not only to speak truth to power, but to resist pressure from the administration to withhold information from Congress because the administration fears that they incriminate them.”
Schiff’s remarks come a day after the House Democrats argued in a 111-page trial brief that the Senate should remove Trump from office in the upcoming impeachment trial due to the national security threat he poses.
Watch Schiff’s remarks below:
Rep. Adam Schiff tells @gstephanopoulos a public hearing on global security threats before the House Intelligence Committee could be in jeopardy because members on the intelligence community are "worried about angering the president." https://t.co/8PCqr913hS pic.twitter.com/mJ7Us1XRBl
— ABC News (@ABC) January 19, 2020