Ratcliffe: DOJ Inspector General's Report On FISA Abuse Will Be Released Within Two Weeks | Video | RealClearPolitics

Ratcliffe: DOJ Inspector General's Report On FISA Abuse Will Be Released Within Next "Week Or Two"


Rep. John Ratcliffe, a member of the Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Committeess, told FNc's Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" that Attorney General William Barr has the report on FISA abuse during the 2016 election from the DOJ Inspector General and it will be released by Friday.

"I promise you that the inspector general's testimony on Friday will shock you with respect to his investigation into the contacts between Adam Schiff and his staff on the Intelligence Committee and the whistle-blower," he said. "The bottom line is, Adam Schiff is a material fact witness in the investigation. He shouldn't be running the investigation."

BARTIROMO: Joining me right now is Republican Congressman from Texas John Ratcliffe. He sits on the House Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security committees. He's a former federal prosecutor. And he was in the room behind the closed doors on Friday with Kurt Volker's testimony.

Congressman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-TX): Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: So, just...

RATCLIFFE: On Friday -- the testimony Friday, just so the record is clear, was Michael Atkinson, the ICIG.

And I was in the room. In fact, I led the questioning for the first 45 minutes for the Republicans. Special envoy Volker was Thursday.

BARTIROMO: Thank you for that. I appreciate that.

Can you tell us about the testimony that you heard on Friday? And tell us whatever you can behind -- what happened behind closed doors.

I'm looking at a Federalist article that says testimony from Ukraine enjoy Kurt Volker directly contradicts the Democrats' impeachment narrative.

What can you tell us?

RATCLIFFE: So, I would love to tell your viewers about everything about both of those interviews.

The reason that I can't is because the person in charge of this investigation, Adam Schiff, has made the decision that he doesn't want those transcripts to be out there publicly. He made that decision because those transcripts aren't good for the Democrats and for the narrative.

What I can tell you is that I promise you that the inspector general's testimony on Friday will shock you with respect to his investigation into the contacts between Adam Schiff and his staff on the Intelligence Committee and the whistle-blower.

And when you see the transcript, and you see what investigation was performed, I think any fair person is going to agree with me that Adam Schiff is a material witness. His staff are material witnesses. And the only way we can get good answers is to put them under oath about the type of contact, the extent of which they had with the whistle-blower.

The bottom line is, Adam Schiff is a material fact witness in the investigation. He shouldn't be running the investigation.

BARTIROMO: So, do we know that he met with the whistle-blower? Initially, he said, we haven't spoken to the whistle-blower, we want to speak to the whistle-blower.

But then we learned after that, in fact, his staff has met with him, and there are -- there's speculation this morning that in fact Adam Schiff met with the whistle-blower directly. Can you confirm that?

RATCLIFFE: Well, think about this, Maria.

The Washington Post, of all newspapers, had to give Adam Schiff four Pinocchios for when he said that they had not had any direct contact with the whistle-blower. That wasn't true.

So what I can tell you is that there was contact between the whistle-blower and either Adam Schiff and his team on the Intelligence Committee. And the details of that, we all -- I think the president who is -- they're attempting remove from office on the basis of this impeachment deserves to know what type of contact there was between Adam Schiff and his team and this whistle-blower.

And we shouldn't have to take Adam Schiff's words for it with a wordsmith press release or tweet that, there's not much and we don't really need to look at that. He needs to be put under oath. He needs to answer the questions.

And, again, that is the reason that he shouldn't be allowed to run the investigation where he and his team are central fact witnesses.

BARTIROMO: So, let's go through that, because House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded to Pelosi's refusal to answer questions about more information about this impeachment.

And he's sending a letter -- he sent a letter to her last week basically saying, you need to get Adam Schiff out of that leadership position.

And you have talked to me about several reasons why you believe Adam Schiff cannot run this investigation. One of them is the fact that this is being done in the Intel Committee, as opposed to the Judiciary Committee.

Any impeachment process, the jurisdiction is Judiciary, right?

RATCLIFFE: In the 240-plus years of our history, those rare times where we have had impeachment process, it's always gone through the House Judiciary Committee, because the House Judiciary Committee is the committee of jurisdiction over the Constitution and over impeachment.

It's not the Intelligence Committee. So, for the first time ever...

BARTIROMO: So, why would she go to the Intelligence Committee, then? Then why would she go to the Intel Committee that Adam Schiff runs?

RATCLIFFE: So, she -- well, I think two reasons.

One, I think Nancy Pelosi has so little confidence, apparently, in Jerry Nadler to run this the way that she wants it. The other reason is, by moving it to the Intelligence Committee, she can accomplish what they did this week.

Adam Schiff can say, gosh, this all has to be done behind closed doors. Unlike any other impeachment in our country, which is public, he's conducting this behind closed doors, making up the rules as it goes, as he wants them, as it suits his purpose.

And so you have a jurisdictional problem. You have a problem with transparency. And then, worst of all, the guy who is in charge of running the investigation is a central witness in the investigation, something that we don't allow anywhere in this country and never have.

I mean, Third World countries are shocked at the kangaroo court, banana republic, make-it-up-as-you-go impeachment inquiry that the Democrats are running in this country.

BARTIROMO: Which is why Kim Strassel from The Wall Street Journal this past week did an op-ed in The Journal, titling it: "What did the House Intel committee chairman know and when did he know it?"

Because, as I just spoke with Lindsey Graham about, if he did in fact meet this whistle-blower and helped the whistle-blower craft the complaint, the way we understand he did with Christine Blasey Ford, there will be a lot of pushback on this.

Congressman, stay with us. We want to take a short break. I have got to ask you where this is headed. Stay with us. More with John Ratcliffe coming up.


BARTIROMO: I'm back with Republican Congressman from Texas John Ratcliffe. And, Congressman, I want to go back to something you were just saying about Adam Schiff. You want him to recuse himself, step down from running this impeachment investigation.

And you said, number one, it's because it's not in the right committee. The jurisdiction is in Judiciary, not Intel. And, number two, you say they are being -- it's being done behind closed doors, in secret?

RATCLIFFE: Those are unprecedented with respect to any impeachment process. Again, the extraordinary set of talking about removing a president from office, and we're doing it in a way that's never been done before, in a committee that's never been done before, with rules that are being made up as he decides them.

We literally found out on Friday, asked the chairman, Chairman Schiff, what the rules were with respect to the interview of the inspector general, and he had just made up his mind that morning on what they were going to be.

We should be following the established rules in how this is. And, again, the most important point though, Maria, is that he is a fact witness.

I mean, big picture on this.


RATCLIFFE: The Democrats have decided it's not impeachment by collusion, it's not impeachment by conspiracy, it's not impeachment by obstruction of justice. That all fell apart the minute Bob Mueller said, I never heard of Fusion GPS.

So their white whale of impeachment, they have decided it's got to be this whistle-blower and this call that the president has. And now what are we finding out? That the person in charge of running this investigation lied to everyone about his contact with the whistle-blower and helped start the process.

This is as unfair as you can possibly imagine. It's worse than the Russia collusion hoax. And Adam Schiff and anyone on his team that had contact with the whistle-blower needs to be put under oath.

All right, and we know that Adam Schiff for two years told us that there is direct evidence in plain sight of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, which, of course, was completely debunked.

RATCLIFFE: Still waiting on that.

BARTIROMO: I'm going to speak with George Papadopoulos in a few minutes.

And we have got this timeline that I wanted to ask you about. This is the timeline that we're calling entrapment timeline, where a number, I mean several, international -- quote, unquote -- "diplomats" reached out to George Papadopoulos, some from Australia, others from Britain, others from the U.S., Italy.

And I want to ask you about this one that he -- he was invited to London by Stefan Halper. And Stefan Halper introduced him to his -- quote, unquote -- "assistant," Azra Turk.

And at that meeting in September of 2016, they had a conversation. And, of course, now we know that Stefan Halper was a spy, so the whole conversation was recorded. He was wearing a wire.

That conversation was Halper saying to Papadopoulos, it's great that Russia has these e-mails on Hillary Clinton. You must be really happy. Trump has to be happy. And George Papadopoulos answers and says -- and this is told to me by George Papadopoulos -- he answers and says: "That's crazy. I would never do something like that. That's treason."

And we know that that conversation was recorded. Is that the transcript that you and Trey Gowdy and others have suggested is exculpatory evidence that was not given to the FISA court?

RATCLIFFE: Well, if there is a transcript, I think everyone would agree, based on what you just said, if there is a transcript of what you just related, that absolutely should have been provided to the FISA court.

And the good news is, we will get a definitive answer from the inspector general when this report gets issued in the next week or two about whether or not that was done.

I'm just telling you that I have staked my credibility on this, that I think that the information that should have been turned over to the FISA court wasn't, and that the FISA process wasn't followed, and that, when Jim Comey and Adam Schiff and others say that the FISA abuse idea is a bunch of nonsense, that they're wrong.

But we will find out.

But the other point that you have been talking about, Maria, and are going to talk about, I mean, why is it OK for the Obama administration to send people to -- FBI agents to Rome and to coordinate with Australia and Great Britain about foreign interference in our election, but when the Trump administration and Department of Justice and Bill Barr go to the exact same places to determine the exact same type of things, foreign interference in our election, it's all of a sudden political, and that we shouldn't be doing it?

And I will tell you what I think the answer is, because I think there are a lot of folks that are worried about finding out who really interfered more or tried to interfere more in the 2016 election, the Russians or the Obama administration.

BARTIROMO: Yes. I mean, do you think William Barr would put Adam Schiff under oath?

RATCLIFFE: Well, someone needs to put Adam Schiff under oath.

We can't remove a president in a whistle-blower process where there are legitimate questions about the role that Adam Schiff and his team played in that.

And I'm promising you that, when you read the inspector general transcript from Friday, you will agree with me that those are questions that Adam Schiff and his team are going to have to answer.

Show comments Hide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives