Government watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a major lawsuit against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and his committee.
Schiff has refused to respond to a public request about how he received the phone records of Trump allies.
Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request.
This effort will likely reveal important information related to how Schiff obtained the personal phone records of Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), reporter John Solomon, and several American citizens, including Trump’s lawyers during the Democrats’ impeachment investigation.
Schiff is withholding information despite the common-law right of public access to examine government records.
Conservatives have argued that Schiff is hiding important information.
“Adam Schiff abused his power to secretly subpoena and then publish the private phone records, in potential violation of law, of innocent Americans,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.
“What else is Mr. Schiff hiding?” Fitton added.
The suit seeks records for “all subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about September 30, 2019 to any telecommunications provider including, but not limited to AT&T, Inc., for records of telephone calls of any individuals.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s 300-page impeachment report which included private phone records for Giuliani, Nunes, and others, was released on Dec. 3.
However, the committee’s 300-page report did not say how or why Schiff obtained the information.
“The records are of critical public importance,” Republican Rep. Nunes said.
“I believe I am the first member of ever to have [my] phone records exposed like this,” Nunes told Fox News.
“We’re definitely going to take legal action,” Nunes added. “We need to get to court to try to stop that from happening again.”
If Schiff obtained the phone records lawfully, then he should have nothing to hide.
Fitton said, “The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens.”
“Schiff and his Committee ran roughshod over the rule of law in pursuit of the abusive impeachment of President Trump.”
“This lawsuit serves as a reminder that Congressman Schiff and Congress are not above the law,” Fitton concluded.
Moreover, the White House responded to the 300-page report and informed Schiff that he has the wrong phone number for Rudy Giuliani.
The report alleged that Giuliani, who is President Donald Trump’s lawyer, was in touch with Ukrainian sources who were providing him false information about then-U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, as well as Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections and Hunter Biden’s board role at a corrupt Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.
Despite these claims, the report has the wrong phone number. No one ever called Giuliani from OMB, or vice versa, according to The White House.
It appears that Schiff may not have only obtained phone records unlawfully, but also that the phone records are clearly inaccurate according to the White House.