House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has claimed the National Security Administration (NSA) and CIA are both withholding information about Ukraine from Congress and that the White House is pressuring the two intelligence agencies.
Schiff said during ABC News’ “This Week,” “The intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine. They appear to be succumbing to pressure from the administration.”
He added that “the NSA, in particular, is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial. That is deeply concerning, and there are signs that the CIA may be on the same tragic course.” Schiff, however, didn’t elaborate on those “signs” or didn’t specify what they were.
“We are counting on the intelligence community not only to speak truth to power,” he added.
The NSA has not responded to a request for comment.
Amanda Schoch, the assistant director of National Intelligence for Strategic Communications, pushed back against his claims in a response to CNN.
“The Intelligence Community is committed to providing Congress with the information and intelligence it needs to carry out its critical oversight role. The [Intelligence Community] is working in good faith with (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) to respond to requests on a broad range of topics and will continue to do so,” she told the news outlet.
President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial starts on Tuesday in earnest. Schiff was named by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as one of the House managers who will present the Democrats’ case in the Senate.
On Thursday, the impeachment trial ceremonially began with Supreme Court Justice John Roberts being sworn-in. Roberts placed his hand on the Bible and was sworn in by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.-Iowa), the Senate’s president pro tempore. He then called on all 100 senators to stand to be sworn in.
The senators took an oath before the trial. Roberts asked them, “Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of President Donald John Trump, president of United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?”
After the swearing-in ceremony, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) elaborated on the next steps the upper chamber will take, saying the trial would resume on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
Other than Schiff, Pelosi named Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose committee approved the impeachment articles. Other managers in the trial will include Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Jason Crow (D-Colo.) as managers.