House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has hired two aides who have previously worked with the anonymous CIA whistleblower whose explosive complaint essentially launched an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
The story: According to the Washington Examiner, the whistleblower, a former National Security Council (NSC), has worked with Abigail Grace and Sean Misko at the NSC during the Obama and Trump administrations.
Schiff hired Grace, an NSC staffer until 2018, in February, while Misko joined the congressman’s staff in August, the same month the whistleblower issued the anti-Trump complaint.
The Examiner has also found that the whistleblower was an NSC official who worked with Trump opponent Joe Biden when he was vice president.
The whistleblower, a CIA analyst with expertise in Ukraine, filed a complaint to the House Intelligence Committee over Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The complaint alleged that Trump had abused his power to pressure Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
While Schiff initially denied having any knowledge of the complaint, it was later revealed that one of his aides had talked to the whistleblower before the complaint was filed.
“We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to,” Schiff said.
The Washington Post fact-checked Schiff’s remarks, concluding that the congressman “clearly made a statement that was false.”
Grace, an NSC employee from 2016-2018, was hired on Schiff’s committee to help investigate the White House.
“We have hired staff for a variety of positions, including the committee’s oversight work and its investigation. Although none of our staff has come directly from the White House, we have hired people with prior experience on the National Security Council staff for oversight of the agencies, and will continue to do so at our discretion.” Schiff himself said, “If the president is worried about our hiring any former administration people, maybe he should work on being a better employer,” a Schiff aide said in February.
Misko, on the other hand, worked as a staff member under the deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan during the Obama administration and has served as deputy assistant to former President Obama and national security advisor to then-Vice President Biden.
A source with knowledge about Grace’s work at the NSC told the Examiner: “Abby Grace had access to executive privilege information, and she has a duty not to disclose that information. She is not authorized to reveal that information.”
The same source also alleged that Misko had not been trusted by Trump appointees, saying: “There were a few times where documents had been signed off for final editing before they go to the national security adviser for signature. And he actually went in and made changes after those changes were already finished. So he basically tried to insert, without his boss’ approval.”
“There were meetings in which he protested very heavily, and next thing you know, there’s an article in the paper about the contents of that meeting.”