Analysis: Schiff’s Radical Transparency Shift
Rep. Adam Schiff is calling for the declassification and release of a transcript of phone calls between Michael Flynn and former Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak.
“We need to ensure a transparent and complete public record free of political manipulation,” wrote Schiff.
The request marks a dramatic shift for the California Democrat. Throughout the Trump-Russia probe, Schiff led the charge to oppose the release of FBI documents regarding the Steele dossier and FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday called for transparency in the release of a transcript of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls in late December 2016 with a Russian ambassador.
“We need to ensure a transparent and complete public record free of political manipulation,” Schiff wrote in a letter to Richard Grenell, the acting director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
In making the request, Schiff follows on the heels of Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who first called for the release of the transcript and other Flynn-related materials in February 2017 and again in May 2018.
But Schiff’s call for transparency marks a shift in tone for the California Democrat, who has resisted the release of classified documents related to other aspects of the FBI’s investigation and surveillance of the Trump campaign.
Many of those documents, once released, have shown that the FBI mishandled intelligence in its investigation of the Trump campaign. The documents also undermined the Steele dossier, which Schiff touted as evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during a March 20, 2017, congressional hearing.
Schiff led the charge throughout 2018 to oppose the release of FBI and Justice Department documents related to the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders against Trump campaign aide Carter Page.