‘AT&T has a lot to answer for’; Schiff reportedly opens himself up to lawsuits over phone records

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

If certain newfound accusations are legit, then it’s not President Donald Trump who deserves to be investigated, but rather House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, the telecommunications giant AT&T and the National Security Agency, aka the “Deep State.”

These newfound accusations specifically concern Schiff’s highly controversial decision to obtain and then publish the phone records of Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, non-establishment journalist John Solomon and others.

While nobody in the demonstrably left-wing mainstream media has shown even the slightest concern about this “disgraceful breach of ethical and legal propriety,” as The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel put it, the folks at Fox News have.

According to Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s sources, Schiff obtained these records by first going to AT&T with some phone numbers and asking for information on them.

“They asked them ‘tell us what these numbers have been engaged in. What calls these numbers have been making and placing.’ They took that information. They went to the NSA, aka the ‘Deep State,’ then gave them the information that it was Rudy and other,” she claimed Thursday evening on her weekday FNC program, citing “reliable sources.”

If true, this places Schiff, AT&T and the NSA in precarious positions.

Speaking with Ingraham, former CIA analyst and current Center for Security Policy president and CEO Fred Fleitz highlighted all the criticism that the NSA faced in prior times for its warrantless surveillance operations against the American people.

“We know how controversial phone records are, how much trouble the NSA got for using them,” he said. “There are real restrictions on them, and [yet] Adam Schiff used them to get information on Devin Nunes and to smear him, to get information on Giuliani, the president’s attorney, and to get information on John Solomon, a journalist that Democrats hate.”

Equally troublesome is AT&T’s decision to comply with the House Intelligence Committee chair’s politically motivated demands, Fleitz added.

“What I want to know is why did AT&T comply with this request, because when the NSA asks, AT&T always says no. So why? Because a powerful Democratic congressman asked for this information. AT&T has a lot to answer for,” he maintained.

“In addition, AT&T certainly knew one of those numbers was Nunes’ phone. And knew that they were providing this information to Congress. Frankly, they should have went to the Justice Department or the FBI or a court before they provided that information.”

This really should be investigated,” he added.

Listen to their full discussion below:

Fleitz concluded his statement by turning his attention back to the key suspect, Adam Schiff.

“I think the whole idea he is looking into who the president’s attorney was speaking to raises huge issues on attorney-client privilege,” he said. “What was the right that Schiff had to do this? An attorney would have to have special permission. Schiff thinks he operates under other rules. … This is abuse of authority. It’s abuse of office.

Strassel agrees. In a column for the WSJ posted earlier Thursday afternoon, she argued that the committee chair’s actions constitute “a stunning abuse of congressional power,” not to mention “a disgraceful breach of ethical and legal propriety.”

But she didn’t base this opinion on mere emotions — she relied on legitimate analysis.

“There does not appear to be any basis to believe that a congressional committee is authorized to subpoena telephone records directly from a provider—as opposed to an individual,” former Attorney General Michael Mukasey reportedly told her.

He reportedly added that the legal problem is “compounded” because it “raises questions of work-product and attorney-client privilege.”

“Whatever his role in the Ukraine affair, Mr. Giuliani remains the president’s personal lawyer. Law enforcement must present a judge with powerful evidence to get permission to violate attorney-client privilege. Mr. Schiff ignored all that, and made himself privy to data that could expose the legal strategies of the man he is investigating,” Strassel wrote.

Is this enough to perhaps justify expelling “impeaching” Schiff? Maybe, maybe not,  though according to constitutional lawyer David Rivkin, it could be enough to sue him.

“Mr. Rivkin adds that any of the targets could sue Mr. Schiff under state law for invasion of privacy or intentional infliction of emotional distress, and potentially even compel Mr. Schiff to turn over documents in discovery,” Strassel reported.

“Mr. Nunes has already said he’s weighing his legal options. Since House Democrats obviously won’t hold Mr. Schiff accountable for his abuses, let’s hope at least one of the targets demands a court review his tactics. No one should want to live in a world where Adam Schiff has unfettered power to spy on Americans.”

Hear, hear!

But don’t forget AT&T and the NSA. As noted by Fleitz, they too most certainly deserve some serious scrutiny.


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Vivek Saxena


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