Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), in potential violation of law, abused his power to secretly subpoena and then publish the private phone records of innocent Americans.
In response, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee for the controversial subpoenas issued for phone records, including those of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer. The phone records led to the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devon Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.
Judicial Watch sued under the public’s common-law right of public access to examine government records after we received no response to a December 6, 2019, records request (Judicial Watch v Adam Schiff and U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (No. 1:19-cv-03790)):
- All subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about September 30, 2019 to any telecommunications provider including, but not limited to AT&T, Inc., for records of telephone calls of any individuals;
- All responses received to the above-referenced subpoenas.
Schiff is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, currently serving as Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Judicial Watch is suing Schiff in his capacity as Chairman of that committee. This lawsuit states:
The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens.
Disclosure of the requested records would serve the public interest by providing information about the unlawful issuance of the subpoenas.
The requested records fall within the scope of the public’s right of access to governmental records as a matter of federal common law.
What else is Mr. Schiff hiding? He and his committee ran roughshod over the rule of law in pursuit of the abusive impeachment of President Trump. This lawsuit serves as reminder that Congressman Schiff and Congress are not above the law.
Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch.