Nobody fools Rep. Adam Schiff – the highest ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee – except, well, maybe Russian pranksters offering him naked photos of President Trump having a romp with glamorous model Olga Buzova.
When two Russian comedians, known as “Vovan” and “Lexus,” promised the allegedly compromising intel to Schiff, one of Trump’s most outspoken critics in Congress, the Democrat from California took detailed notes. The congressman asked the pair for name spellings and documentation.
During the eight-minute call, which took place last year, Schiff told them: “I’ll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we’ll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI.”
After the call, Schiff’s staff tried to acquire the “classified” material on Trump from a person they believed to be a Ukrainian politician, the London Daily Mail reported. The man – who was actually “Vovan” – identified himself as Andriy Parubiy, chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament.
Schiff’s office claimed the congressman believed the call from “Vovan” and “Lexus” was “bogus.”
However, in audio of the call, Schiff sounded as if he took the conversation seriously. And emails from Schiff’s office to the fake Parubiy indicated the congressman believed the call had been “productive.”
One email from a Schiff staffer sought to “arrange pick-up of those materials from your Embassy here in Washington, D.C.”
While he spoke to the fake Parubiy, Schiff warned that Russian spies could be monitoring the call.
“I would caution that our Russian friends may be listening to the conversation so I wouldn’t share anything over the phone that you wouldn’t want them to hear,” Schiff said.
The phony Parubiy told Schiff, “I don’t think that will impact our investigation.”
He claimed Ukraine possessed recordings and documents showing Russian President Vladimir Putin is blackmailing President Trump. He said Putin has nude photos of Trump having a sexual affair with Russian model Olga Buzova after the Miss Universe pageant in 2013.
The duo also claimed Trump used secret codes in his talks with Russians.
The Daily Mail reported: “Vovan also claimed the Ukranians recorded secret meetings between a Trump campaign aide and a famous Russian singer-turned-spy that took place at a non-existent mafia hangout in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brighton Beach.”
A Schiff spokesman wouldn’t explain to the Daily Mail why Schiff’s staffer would have pursued the information after the call if the congressman’s office believed the call to be “bogus.”
Schiff conspiracy theory: Russia tried to get Americans to ‘kill each other’
Just last week, Schiff made headlines when he went public with a bizarre Russia conspiracy theory that Moscow promoted America’s Second Amendment during the 2016 presidential election so Americans would kill each other.
Russians were posting content on social media, Schiff explained at a University of Pennsylvania event last week, that was “designed to pit us against each other, to exploit our divisions.”
“You had the content that was clearly anti-Hillary, and you had the content that was very pro-Trump. But even the bigger quantity of content that was being pushed through social media was just content designed to pit us against each other,” Schiff said.
“They also trumpeted the Second Amendment. Apparently, the Russians are very big fans of our Second Amendment. They don’t particularly want a Second Amendment of their own, but they’re really glad that we have one. The Russians would be thrilled if we were doing nothing but killing each other every day. And sadly, we are.”
Schiff also recently made headlines when blasted the release of the GOP memo, which he called a “political hit job” on the FBI. He claims the White House likely coordinated with GOP congressmen to release the memo in an effort to interfere with the Trump-Russia investigation.
Schiff suggests GOP memo release could spark bombing
Schiff claimed releasing the memo might allow another Oklahoma City bombing-type incident to happen. (In 1994, Oklahoma bombing accomplice Terry Nichols purchased more than 2,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, enough to fertilize a dozen acres of farmland.)
“But the real damage they have done is they have damaged the relationship between our committee and the intelligence community in the future,” Schiff said of Republicans and President Trump, who authorized release of the memo. “The intelligence committee is going to be very wary about sharing information with us because they won’t trust us to be responsible stewards of it.
“And sources of information are going to dry up. If you have a neighbor next door who is buying a lot of fertilizer, and it seems odd to you because they don’t have a yard, are you going to think twice before calling the FBI because if they get a search warrant for your neighbor and something is politicized, the political winds change and there’s an investigation, your identity is going to be revealed? Because you really can’t trust that this is going to be kept confidential anymore. There’s a reason why this process has never been used before. Even so, the process presumed that the president of the United States, who has a veto over this, would be a responsible person who would have the interest of the nation at heart. And that’s not what we have here.”
The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Monday to release the 10-page Democratic memo – this one written by Schiff – countering Republican claims that the FBI abused surveillance laws when it sought to spy on Trump campaign officials. Schiff claims the four-page GOP memo written by Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is inaccurate and misleading.
President Trump now has five days to object or authorize release of Schiff’s memo.
Trump: Schiff is ‘liar,’ ‘leaker’ and ‘sleazy’
On Monday, Trump accused Schiff of criminally leaking sensitive information.
He tweeted: “Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!”
Schiff responded to Trump’s tweet: “Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of ‘Executive Time.’ Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or … really anything else.”
Schiff then told CNN: “It may be time for [White House chief of staff] General Kelly to give the president a time-out. I think the country would certainly benefit from that anyway.”
He added, “I’m very careful not to disclose classified information or even things that happen in closed sessions, so it’s a baseless attack.”
Trump and Schiff have a history of exchanging such words on Twitter.
In July of last year, the president gave Rep. Schiff a nickname: sleazy.
Trump tweeted: “Sleazy Adam Schiff, the totally biased Congressman looking into ‘Russia,’ spends all of his time on television pushing the Dem loss excuse!”
Schiff responded: “With respect Mr. President, the problem is how often you watch TV, and that your comments and actions are beneath the dignity of the office.”