Justice Roberts reads question citing new report alleging Schiff aides worked with whistleblower to oust Trump

A bombshell report on how the Ukraine call whistleblower allegedly plotted with Rep. Adam Schiff’s aides to “take out” the president was referred to in a question read by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Roberts told senators in President Trump’s impeachment trial that he would not read aloud the name of the alleged whistleblower who sparked the impeachment process, but he did read a question Wednesday which was submitted to the president’s counsel that appeared to refer to a new RealClearInvestigations report.

Reading questions in the Senate chamber submitted on note cards and addressed to either House Democratic managers or Trump’s defense team, the Supreme Court Justice presiding over the impeachment trial asked one presented by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah on behalf of Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

“Is it true that Shawn Misco and Abigail Grace and the alleged whistleblower were employed by or detailed by the National Security Council in the same time period of January 20, 2017 and the present?” Roberts read, naming two of Schiff’s aides who previously worked with the anonymous CIA whistleblower.

“Do you have reason to believe they knew each other and have any reason to believe that alleged whistleblower and Misco did everything they could to ‘take out the president’?” Roberts concluded reading.

President Trump’s deputy counsel Patrick Philbin responded to the question, and buried Schiff for essentially hiding evidence.

“Mr. Chief Justice, Senators, the only knowledge that we have of this comes from public reports. I gather that there is a news report in some publication that suggests a name for the whistleblower and suggests where he worked and that he worked at that time while detail of the NSC staff for Vice President Biden and others who worked there,” Philbin explained, apparently referring to Paul Sperry’s bombshell piece published last week.

“We have no knowledge of that other than what is in the public reports, and I don’t want to get into speculating about that,” Philbin added.

It is something, to an unknown extent, may have been addressed in the testimony of the inspector general of the intelligence community before Chairman Schiff’s committees, but that testimony, contacts with the whistleblower, contacts with Manager Schiff’s staff and the whistleblower, are shrouded in secrecy to this day.

We don’t know what Manager Schiff’s staff contact with the whistleblower have been and what connections there are there. It’s something that would seem to be relevant since the whistleblower started this entire inquiry,” he said, adding that Trump’s defense team could not assert that they had “particular knowledge of the facts stated in the question.”

“We know there was a public report suggesting connections and prior working relationships between certain people, not something I can comment on other than to say that there’s a report there,” Philbin said. “We don’t know the situation of the contacts’ coordination provided by Manager Schiff’s staff to the whistleblower. It all remains unknown.”

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul was not able to have his question about the origins of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry read at the trial because Roberts blocked it.


Schiff again claimed that he did not know the identity of the whistleblower when answering a question in the trial, prompting a rebuke from House Republicans and others for intentionally misleading the public. He was also called out for repeatedly accusing Trump of “bribery” and “extortion.”

“If this were a criminal trial in an ordinary court and Mr. Schiff had done what he just did on the floor here, and start talking about crimes of bribery and extortion that were not in the indictment, it would’ve been an automatic mistrial,” Philbin said. “We’d all be done now, and we could go home. And Mr. Schiff knows that, because he’s a former prosecutor.”


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