Oops, he did it again. After leaking fake Donald Trump, Jr. emails, fabricating the transcript of a 2019 phone call between former President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s president, and lying about his interactions with the so-called whistleblower behind House Democrats’ first impeachment of Trump, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is now running the same con against a fellow lawmaker. During a hearing Monday night on the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Adam Schiff claimed to have proof that a member of Congress texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to instruct former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Not only did Schiff misrepresent the substance of the text message and its source, he even doctored original text messages, which were obtained and reviewed by The Federalist in their entirety.
“I want to display just a few of the message[s] he received from people in Congress,” Schiff said, referring to Meadows. “The committee is not naming these lawmakers at this time as our investigation is ongoing. If we could cue the first graphic.”
The following graphic, purportedly of the text message between a member of Congress and Meadows, then appeared on screen at Schiff’s direction:
“This one reads, ‘On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,’” Schiff continued. “You can see why this is so critical to ask Mr. Meadows about. About a lawmaker suggesting that the former vice president simply throw out votes that he unilaterally deems unconstitutional in order to overturn a presidential election and subvert the will of the American people.”
Not only did Schiff lie about the substance of the text message and its source, he even doctored the message and graphic that he displayed on screen during his statement. The full text message, which was forwarded to Meadows from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on the evening of Monday, Jan. 5, was significantly longer than what Schiff read and put on screen, but Schiff erased significant portions of the text and added punctuation where there was none to give the impression that Jordan himself was tersely directing Meadows to give orders to Pence on how to handle the electoral vote certification.
The original text was written by Washington attorney and former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz and included an attachment of a four-page draft Word document drafted by Schmitz that detailed Schmitz’s legal reasoning for suggesting that Pence had the constitutional authority to object to the certification of electoral votes submitted by a handful of states. The piece that Schmitz had sent to Jordan was published at the website everylegal.vote the next day and even included the same “DISCUSSION DRAFT” heading and timestamp on the document that Schmitz sent to Jordan.
“Good luck tomorrow!” Schmitz texted Jordan on the evening of Jan. 5, including the Word document as an attachment. Schmitz then texted to Jordan a three-paragraph summary of his Word document, which Schiff sliced and diced and then attributed to Jordan:
“On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence,” Schmitz texted. In his graphic, Schiff erased the final clause and the em dash preceding it and added a period to the first clause without disclosing that he or his staff had chopped up the text and created a fake graphic misrepresenting the actual contents of the text message.
Schmitz continued: “‘No legislative act,’ wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, ‘contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.’ The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ‘That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.’ 226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916).”
“Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all,” Schmitz wrote.
In his statement and on-screen graphic, Schiff erased the final two paragraphs and the final clause of the first paragraph of the text message before inserting punctuation that was never there, all without disclosing what he was doing. The graphic displayed by Schiff, which was doctored to look like an exact screenshot, was similarly doctored, as it contained content that was never in the original message and eliminated content that was.
“Is anyone surprised that Adam Schiff is again rifling through private text messages and cherry-picking information to fit his partisan narrative and sow misinformation?” asked Jordan spokesman Russell Dye.
According to a source familiar with the matter, Schiff never approached Jordan to discuss the text messages prior to chopping them up and misrepresenting them during Monday night’s hearing. Had he done so or bothered asking Jordan about the text message, Schiff would have known that Jordan was merely relaying to Meadows, without comment, an attorney’s summary of that attorney’s own legal argument as to what Pence should or shouldn’t do.
Multiple sources who regularly communicate with Jordan also scoffed at the idea that Jordan, who’s known for writing only brief, one- or two-word texts, if at all, would sit down and type out a multi-paragraph narrative with precise, legal citations akin to a lengthy court brief.
“The idea that Jordan would sit down and punch out a long-winded legal argument via text is absurd,” one individual who regularly talks to Jordan told The Federalist. “That’s just not how he works.”
One Republican colleague of Jordan laughed out loud when asked by The Federalist if Jordan was known for sending lengthy texts.
“If he texts at all, it’s usually something like ‘yes’ or ‘call me,’” that colleague said.
Another GOP lawmaker echoed those sentiments about Jordan’s tech habits.
“That’s just not Jim’s style,” one lawmaker close to Jordan told The Federalist. “Long, nerdy paragraphs might be my style, but that’s not Jim’s style at all.”
“Plus, you have to remember what was going on at that time,” the lawmaker noted. “People were sending around these law review articles and debates left and right because we had an interest in learning the facts and getting them right. And if it’s somehow seditious in this country to debate or share a law review article on Alexander Hamilton’s view on things, that’s not really a country I want to be a part of anymore.”
Schiff and his team have a long history of doctoring and fabricating evidence to show their political enemies in the worst possible light. While Trump, Jr. was testifying during a 2017 congressional hearing on the Russian collusion hoax, Schiff’s committee leaked to CNN and NBC emails purportedly from Trump, Jr. that showed he had communicated with someone about hacked WikiLeaks documents prior to their public release.
In reality, despite each network claiming that it had verified the claims about the emails (CNN even falsely claimed that Trump, Jr.’s own attorney had “verified” the network’s reporting), each network botched the dates on the document. Rather than prove that the president’s oldest son had been privately colluding with WikiLeaks about documents the organization had illegally obtained, the real emails — not those doctored by Schiff or his committee — showed only that a random person with no connection to Trump, Jr. had found his email address and sent the information to him after the documents were already publicly available.
During 2019 impeachment hearings against Trump, Schiff went back to that same playbook and doctored a transcript of a telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. After getting skewered for fabricating the transcript of a phone conversation between two world leaders, Schiff later claimed, without evidence, that his version of the call was only meant to be a parody, rather than a verbatim account of the phone call.
Schiff also lied about his interactions with the so-called whistleblower whose leak of the phone call between Trump and Zelensky was used by House Democrats as a pretext for impeaching Trump and overturning the 2016 election results.
Coincidentally, Schiff’s lie came in response to a question during a November 2019 hearing from Jordan about interactions between Schiff and his staff and the so-called whistleblower.
“First, as the gentleman knows,” Schiff lectured, “that’s a false statement. I do not know the identity of the whistleblower.” However, according to a report from The New York Times, the so-called whistleblower personally contacted Schiff’s office before the so-called whistleblower ever even filed his complaint against Trump with the inspector general that is supposed to oversee the country’s federal spy agencies.
“Schiff, House Intel Chairman, Got Early Account of Whistle-Blower’s Accusations,” The New York Times headline noted.
Schiff’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the doctored text messages from Jordan.