What can you say about a liberal whom Politico feels called up to, er, correct?
Unredacted material shows he may have referred to the wrong "Mr. Z."
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump.Ya think?
The issue arose when Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) last week summarizing a trove of evidence from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas “continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,” citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: “trying to get us mr Z.” The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted.
But an unredacted version of the exchange shows that several days later, Parnas sent Giuliani a word document that appears to show notes from an interview with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, followed by a text message to Giuliani that states: “mr Z answers my brother.” That suggests Parnas was referring to Zlochevsky not Zelensky.
I assume Politico is trying to get out ahead of this story to make it "old news". You have to get to the bottom, through all the spin, to find out what GOPers are saying about this:
A Republican aide said the assumption that “mr Z” is a reference to Zelensky is sloppy oversight work at best.
“The most charitable view of the situation is that [Schiff’s] staff committed the equivalent of Congressional malpractice by not looking more than an inch deep to determine the facts before foisting this erroneous information on his colleagues and the American public,” said one senior GOP aide.
“But given the selective redactions and contextual clues, it seems as though Chairman Schiff sought to portray an innocuous meeting with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky as an insidious one with the President of Ukraine simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z.”
Yeah, I'd say that's the most charitable view--and I'm not particularly charitable. At this level of play, you don't get the benefit of the doubt for BS like this. "... simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z”? How about: Simply because they thought they could get away with it?
If you prefer to read something other than Politico's spin, Zerohedge has a full account: Adam Schiff Caught "Mischaracterizing" Evidence Day One Of Senate Impeachment Trial.
UPDATE 1: Probably even worse--Schiff had to intervene to shut down CNN reporter Manu Raju from asking Jerry Nadler about Nadler's tirade against Republican senators last night. Nadler:
“The President is on trial in the Senate. But the Senate is on trial in the eyes of the American people. Will you vote to allow all of the relevant evidence to be presented here? Or will you betray your oath to be an impartial juror? Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the President’s misconduct? Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the President’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. An absolutely indefensible vote. Obviously, a treacherous vote. A vote against an honest consideration of the evidence against the President. A vote against an honest trial. A vote against the United States. A real trial we know has witnesses. We urge you to do your duty, permit a fair trial. All the witnesses must be permitted. That’s elementary in American justice. Either you want the truth or you, and you must permit the witnesses or you want a shameful cover-up. History will judge and so will the electorate.”
Obviously pretty insulting stuff, coming from a clown like Nadler in particular. How do you think senators felt about that?
That's what Manu Raju wanted to know, and what Schiff didn't want CNN listeners to hear. Here's Raju's exchange with Schiff, who first refused to let Nadler speak for himself, then moved on to another reporter without answering Raju's question:
RAJU: Mr. Nadler, the Republicans have been going —
ADAM SCHIFF: I’m going to respond to the questions.
RAJU: OK, well Mr. Nadler’s been criticized by Republicans, Mr. Schiff.
What did GOP senators have to say? Judging from some tweets, Nadler scored an own goal:
Hawley says House severely alienated the jury.
Murkowksi says she was offended.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune said Nadler was “especially partisan” last night and that is “not helpful to their cause,” saying Rs “believe it was a partisan process coming out of the House and I think the tone yesterday in many respects reinforces that”
“It was so insulting and outrageous it was a shock to all of us,” Cornyn said
UPDATE 2: I strongly suspect Rand Paul is exactly right:
The more we hear from Adam Schiff, the more the GOP is getting unified against this partisan charade!— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 22, 2020