House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) appears to have misrepresented impeachment evidence that was used during the House Democrats’ impeachment investigation, according to a report from Tuesday evening. According to documents obtained by Politico, text messages between Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani were “mischaracterized” by Schiff in a letter sent to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler last week. “In one section of the letter, Schiff claims that Parnas ‘continued to try to arrange a meeting with President Zelensky,’ citing a specific text message exchange where Parnas tells Giuliani: ‘trying to get us mr Z.’ The remainder of the exchange — which was attached to Schiff’s letter — was redacted.”
The unredacted version of the letter, which Schiff obviously had access to, shows that Parnas was actually referring to Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, not President Zelensky. Notes from the meeting taken by Parnas show a series of questions and answers without identifying the participants. However, the responses “include statements such as ‘we wanted to build Burisma as [an] international company’ and ‘we also thought it would help in Ukraine to have strong international board figures,'” which even Politico concedes “point to Zlochevsky — not the Ukrainian president — as the respondent.”
Politico notes that a Democratic official involved with the impeachment trial “didn’t dispute the suggestion that the initial interpretation was incorrect.” Of course, the question is whether this was a legitimate error or a deliberate misinterpretation. Democrats, including Schiff, have been deliberately misrepresenting evidence since this impeachment effort started. Adam Schiff whipped up an entirely false version of the Trump-Zelensky phone call on the House floor, defending his deception by claiming it was a parody, and Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats have misquoted a key portion of the transcript.
Democrats are clearly not above lying in order to attack the president. Adam Schiff even did so in an epic fashion on the House floor. Are we expected to believe the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee hadn’t read the unredacted version of the meeting notes and was not aware that “Mr. Z” was Mykola Zlochevsky, not President Zelensky?
“The most charitable view of the situation is that [Schiff’s] staff committed the equivalent of Congressional malpractice by not looking more than an inch deep to determine the facts before foisting this erroneous information on his colleagues and the American public,” a senior GOP aide told Politico. “But given the selective redactions and contextual clues, it seems as though Chairman Schiff sought to portray an innocuous meeting with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky as an insidious one with the President of Ukraine simply because both of their surnames start with the letter Z.”
It all goes back to this question: if the truth is so damning, why must Democrats lie to make their point?
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis