Top conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has filed a complaint asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for potential ethics violations including leaking classified information.
According to a letter written to the chairman of the House Office of Congressional Ethics, Doc Hastings, Judicial Watch is requesting that Schiff, in addition to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), be investigated for “disclosing classified information to the public in violation of House ethics rules.”
The letter comes after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. David Nunes (R-Calif.) came under fire from Schiff and other Democrats for similar concerns regarding the committee’s investigation into alleged connections between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Nunes recused himself from the investigation as a result of those concerns.
“At least two leading Democrats, Reps. Schiff and Speier, on the House Intelligence Committee seem to have improperly disclosed classified information,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.
“While the Ethics Committee examines Rep. Nunes’s innocuous statements on Obama’s surveillance on the Trump team, it ought to expand its investigation to include the other members of the Intelligence Committee who seem to have flagrantly violated the rules,” he explained.
Judicial Watch explains:
If the standard for filing a complaint or opening an ethics investigation is that a member has commented publicly on matters that touch on classified information, but the member does not reveal the source of his or her information, then the complaints against Chairman Nunes are incomplete insofar as they target only Nunes.
At least two other members of the House Intelligence Committee have made comments about classified material that raise more directly the very same concerns raised against Chairman Nunes because they appear to confirm classified information contained in leaked intelligence community intercepts.
On March 21, 2017, the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff spoke to an audience at the Brookings Institute in which he commented on an intelligence community intercept of a December 29, 2016 conversation between Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislayak and retired U.S. Army General Michael Flynn, who had been selected by then-President Elect Donald Trump to serve as National Security Advisor. Both the fact of the conversation and the conversation’s contents were leaked to the news media and reported widely.
“We therefore request that the Office of Congressional Ethics conduct a preliminary investigation into whether Rep. Schiff and Rep. Speier disclosed classified information to the public in violation of House ethics rules,” says Judicial Watch’s letter.