Ethics complaint cites Schiff’s contacts with GPS co-founder, ex-Trump lawyer

by WorldTribune Staff, March 12, 2019

A government watchdog group has filed an official complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics concerning Rep. Adam Schiff’s contacts with congressional witnesses Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS co-founder, and Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Donald Trump.

Rep. Adam Schiff

The complaint filed by Judicial Watch asks that Schiff, California Democrat and chairman of the House Intelligence Community, be investigated in connection with recent revelations that he met with Simpson in Aspen, Colorado in July 2018 and that he and his staff coordinated with Cohen on Cohen’s recent testimony to congressional committees.

“Rep. Schiff has an ethics problem. His and his staff’s irregular communications with anti-Trump witnesses reflect poorly on the credibility of the House and its committees’ investigations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It has long been apparent that Rep. Schiff can’t be trusted to lead the Intelligence Committee, so we hope that Democrats on the Ethics Committee stop protecting Mr. Schiff and take action.”

In the complaint, Judicial Watch noted that Schiff “appears to have violated House Code of Official Conduct, Rule 23, clauses 1 and 2, by inappropriately communicating with witnesses.”

Schiff attended the Aspen Security Forum conference in July 2018, which was also attended by Simpson. Press reports have detailed evidence of a meeting and discussion between Schiff and Simpson at forum.

The Hill noted that “At the time of the encounter, Simpson was an important witness in the House Intelligence Committee probe who had given sworn testimony about alleged, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.”

Simpson testified before the House Intelligence Committee, of which Schiff at the time was the ranking Democratic member, on Oct. 16, 2018.

Judicial Watch said that Schiff’s contacts with Cohen “should also be scrutinized in the same light as the Simpson contacts.”

According to reports, Cohen told House investigators that Schiff had traveled to New York at least four times to meet with him for over 10 hours including immediately before last month’s high-profile public testimony. Republicans questioned whether the meetings amounted to coaching a witness.

“Schiff’ s conduct creates the appearance of unethical collusion and synchronization of efforts that calls into question whether Cohen’s testimony was a legitimate congressional hearing or well-rehearsed political theatre,” Judicial Watch said.

Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint on April 13, 2018 against Schiff and Rep. Jackie Speier, California Democrat, for improperly confirming classified information in violation of House rules. The ethics committee has yet to take any public action on the complaint.

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