Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy called into question how objective House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff can be in his position on the Jan. 6 committee, given his unwillingness to admit his error in judgement regarding the debunked Steele dossier.
Earlier this month, special counsel John Durham charged Igor Danchenko with five counts of lying to the FBI, regarding information he compiled and gave to former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who used it in writing the dossier.
Multiple news outlets are revisiting reporting they did regarding the document in light of the Danchenko indictment.
Fox News host Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary, asked McCarthy to comment on the matter on Monday’s “America’s Newsroom,” calling reporting concerning the dossier “one of the most egregious journalist errors in modern history.”
“So, one of the things that has happened is that you have the media sort of slowly saying, ‘Whoops, my bad,’ as if they bumped into you on the subway. This had major consequences,” she added.
McCarthy, a Fox News contributor, agreed.
“It was not only something that was really unprecedented, it was a counterintelligence investigation against a presidential campaign, but it also undermined President [Donald] Trump’s ability to govern for a couple of years,” he said, pointing out the accusations were “made up.”
Perino then shifted to the focus to Schiff’s role in promoting the Steele dossier, both during committee hearings and in the media.
“It was obviously the wrong thing to do, and Adam Schiff, because he was a chairman of an important committee, the Intelligence Committee in the House, much like the FBI, he was actually in a position to investigate these claims before going pubic about them. And he dropped the ball on that just like the FBI did,” McCarthy said.
“The thing that concerns me, Dana, is if he’s going to be the last hold out, still defending this thing that everybody is running for the hills to get away from, this dossier, which on its face was ridiculous, forget about not being able to corroborate it … you should have known that there were problems with it,” the commentator added.
McCarthy then questioned whether Schiff should remain on the Jan. 6 select committee, given his intransigence in admitting he was wrong.
“If he can’t be objective enough at this point to say that that dossier was garbage, why should anyone think that he can be credible in connection with this important inquiry, which [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi didn’t allow pro-Trump members of the House of Representatives to sit on, because she questioned their ability to be fair and objective,” McCarthy said.
Pelosi denied positions on the Jan. 6 committee to Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana in July stating, “With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee.”
On Sunday, NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Schiff, “As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, do you regret giving some credibility to the Steele dossier before anybody had been able to verify anything in that?”
“I don’t regret saying that we should investigate claims of someone who, frankly, was a well-respected British intelligence officer,” Schiff answered.
“And we couldn’t have known, of course, years ago, that we would learn years later that someone who was a primary source lied to him,” the congressman continued.
However, Schiff asserted, “the top line there of Russian help and Trump’s willingness to accept it, make use of it, proved all too accurate.”
During the course of the Department of Justice’s Russia probe, Schiff stated multiple times that he was privy to evidence that Trump had colluded with Russia.
For example he told Todd in March 2017, “I can tell you that the case is more than that, and I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.”
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 22, 2017
Despite making similar claims for many months, Schiff never came forward with such evidence — even after special counsel Robert Mueller issued his report, finding no collusion.