Schiff Says AG Barr Will Declassify Information 'In a Selective Way' to Mislead

By Susan Jones | June 3, 2019 | 6:21am EDT
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, on Sunday discredited the investigation into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe, saying Attorney General William Barr will declassify intelligence "in a selective way designed to mislead the country."

President Trump on May 23 directed the intelligence community to "quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General's investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election."

The White House said Attorney General William Barr "has been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information."

Barr has said Americans "should be worried" about whether government officials abused their power.

Barr flatly told a Senate hearing that "spying did occur," and he said he needs to know if there was a valid reason to conduct surveillance of the Trump campaign.

On Sunday, Schiff told ABC's "This Week" that Barr will engage in "selective declassification."


Host George Stephanopoulos told Schiff that Barr has made it clear he suspects something went “very wrong” at the start of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Schiff accused Barr of "cavalierly" throwing out words such as "spying," pretending he doesn't know "just how pejorative that term is":

He is a smart man and understands exactly how incendiary what his allegation is, and it's designed to be. That's why he is, I think, falling into such legitimate criticism for acting as effectively as a henchman of the president.

You don't talk cavalierly about intelligence agencies or the FBI spying on presidential campaigns.

And given how much he mislead the country about Mueller's own report and findings, we can sadly expect that given this power to declassify information now, he will do in a selective way designed to mislead the country in the president's service.

And there may be no opportunity for rebuttal this time. There will be no further Mueller report that will set straight this selective declassification that he may put into effect and the fact that he will say -- he doesn't want to speculate about what went on early in the investigation until he knows, but he's willing to speculate that it was spying, tells you all you need to know about how disingenuous he's being with the country.

Several months ago, Republicans on the House intelligence committee called on Schiff to step down as chairman for misleading people about evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming," committee Republicans wrote in their letter to Schiff.

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