OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff allegedly leaked highly classified information so frequently that a former CIA director claimed he was forced to limit how much information he gave to him and his staff.
Mike Pompeo, who served in that post for a year before then-President Donald Trump named him secretary of state, made the accusation and claims in a Fox News interview earlier this year.
“During my time as CIA director and secretary of state, I know that he leaked classified information that had been provided to him,” Pompeo, who is rumored to be considering a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said.
“Outnumbered” co-host Emily Compagno, after emphasizing what a huge problem that is, asked Pompeo why there hadn’t been any accountability if leaking that kind of information is “a felony at a minimum, up to treason.”
“It’s a complicated process, right? It’s difficult to pin down precisely what happened,” Pompeo said. “But I could tell you that when we provided information to him and to his staff, it ended up in places it shouldn’t have been with alarming regularity. We could see it. In the end, I decided I held back information from them as a result.”
Schiff recently sat down for an interview with The Harvard Gazette and made some eyeball-raising comments about how not all “leaks” are bad, which lends credence to Pompeo’s accusations against the California Democrat.
While speaking with Paul Kolbe, a senior fellow at the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project at Harvard Kennedy School, made several subtle comments about instances where it may be ok to leak sensitive material.
In one exchange, Schiff said disclosing sensitive information about U.S. surveillance of key allies is “harmful” to national security and U.S. alliances, but added that “profound mutual interests” should be powerful enough to overcome the friction they’ve caused.
Schiff suggested that a leak may cause harm at first, but that everyone will simply move on and recover from it over time.
The Democrat then spoke about how House Speaker Kevin McCarthy removed him from the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year when Republicans took control of the lower chamber.
Schiff who no longer has access to intel briefings, then suggested it has been difficult for the U.S. to keep Europe and Congress together on Ukraine. He seemed to be implying that his removal from the committee somehow had an impact on the U.S. allies amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
“What has made it even more difficult to keep Congress together is that the intellectual thought leader of today’s GOP is Tucker Carlson. And on his program, he does nothing but peddles Kremlin talking points,” Schiff said.
This has already been a tough year for Schiff.
Schiff is facing an ethics complaint over a campaign video he put together as he launched his bid for retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat.
The video features a clip of Schiff presenting his case for then-President Donald Trump’s second impeachment on the floor of the Senate, which, according to the watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), is a violation of congressional rules.
“Federal law states that ‘appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law,'” FACT wrote in a letter to the House Ethics Committee. “To enforce this law, the ethics rules prohibit Members from using any official resource for campaign or political purposes.
“‘Official resources’ includes anything funded by taxpayers, such as a Member’s official website, social media accounts, and photographs and video from the House or Senate floor. To make it abundantly clear, both the House ethics rules and Senate rules specifically identify Congressional video of floor proceedings as official resources that Members are prohibited from using for political purposes,” the letter continued.
“Simply put, under the House ethics rules, a Member is prohibited from using either House or Senate photographs or video because both are official government resources. This includes any photograph or video footage of floor proceedings even if it was reposted from a third-party source, i.e. another website or news organization. As the Ethics Committee has stated, ‘Members may not re-use an image of a floor proceeding published by a third party, if the Member could not use that image in the first instance,'” FACT noted further, adding: “Adam Schiff thought that leading the charge on impeaching Donald Trump would be his golden ticket to the Senate.”