September 29, 2020

White House source says Schiff cited wrong phone number in Intel panel impeachment report

Last week, the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), published a 300-page report on its investigation into alleged impeachable offenses by President Donald Trump. But despite insistence from Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that Trump had committed bribery, the report makes no such allegation.

Instead, the report alleges in part that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had been in regular contact with White House officials in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) via phone. The only problem? It appears that Schiff & co. got the wrong number.

“This is not about Ukraine”

According to Breitbart, Democrats’ allegation that Giuliani interacted with OMB stems from their theory that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the nation “to investigate 2016 election interference as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.”

Democrats say Giuliani was communicating on behalf of the White House “with Ukrainian sources who were providing him false information” in relation to a probe of the Bidens, among other things, Breitbart notes.

In support of these claims, the Intelligence Community’s report lists White House phone logs that allegedly illustrate Giuliani’s frequent contact with OMB. Included in these logs, according to RealClearPolitics, is a 13-minute call between Giuliani and what is described as an “OMB Phone Number” on April 24.

“This is not about Ukraine. This is about our democracy, this is about our security,” Schiff said during a press conference after his committee released its report.

He went on: “Americans should care deeply about whether the president of the United States is betraying their trust in him.”

“I don’t remember calling OMB”

But according to Giuliani, the Democrats have it all wrong. The president’s lawyer said in a text message to CNN’s Dana Bash that he never talked to anyone on an OMB line.

“I don’t remember calling OMB and not about military aid, never knew anything about it,” Giuliani wrote, according to RealClearPolitics. “The mere fact I had numerous calls with the White House does not establish any specific topic. Remember, I’m the president’s attorney.”

Reports alleged that Schiff and his staff assumed the prefix that appears in the phone logs — “395” — exclusively belongs to phones in the offices of OMB. But according to RealClearPolitics, Republican sources indicate that this isn’t accurate.

“This is yet another attempt to use deceit and media manipulation to attempt to undo the results of the last election and interfere in the next one,” a senior White House official told RealClearPolitics.

He went on: “The number House Democrats are claiming is an OMB number is nothing more than a masking number that appears when White House staff dial out from the complex.”

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