Former national security adviser Michael Anton suggested Wednesday that the entire impeachment into President Donald Trump is beginning to look “like an inside job” manufactured by lawmakers unhappy with the president.
Anton spoke to WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Vince Coglianese and Mary Walter Wednesday about Tuesday’s impeachment hearings. During the hearing, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff interrupted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s testimony, citing an effort to protect a whistleblower.
The former National Security Council spokesman suggested Wednesday that Schiff’s actions show impeachment is an “inside job” by lawmakers that dislike Trump.
“It looks like an inside job of a bunch of career bureaucrats getting together and saying, ‘We’ve wanted to impeach this guy for three years, how do we do it. Oh wait, I think we’ve found a way. Here’s the issue,’” Anton said. “It just looks phony, and that’s what they’re trying to avoid coming out.”
“I think the reason they don’t want him to say it is not so much to protect the whistleblower’s identity, whoever it is, it’s to protect the phony veneered process that they used to get this impeachment hearing going,” Anton said Wednesday.
Schiff, a California Democrat, interrupted Vindman Tuesday after the latter admitted that he told an “unnamed official” within the intelligence community about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine. GOP California Rep. Devin Nunes was questioning Vindman at the time.
After Schiff’s interruption, Vindman refused to “answer specific questions about members of the intelligence community,” he said. The interruption caused a stir in the day’s impeachment testimony, as many people could be heard vocally protesting Schiff’s actions.
Schiff’s move was questioned by many, particularly after the whistleblower’s lawyer Mark S. Zaid tweeted Monday to “#ProtectTheWhistleblower” ahead of Vindman’s testimony. The tweet came alongside a CNN comment noting there could be a “contentious flareup” during Vindman’s testimony when Republicans ask him about the Ukraine phone call.
The Daily Caller News Foundation journalist Chuck Ross noted that Zaid’s tweet “suggests” the person Vindman spoke to on the call could be the whistleblower.
If read closely, this suggests that whoever Vindman spoke to after the call is indeed the whistleblower. Adam Schiff just interrupted to prevent Vindman from being asked about this, since it might touch on questions about the whistleblower. pic.twitter.com/5582huhOw3
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) November 19, 2019
Schiff did not allow Republicans to establish if Vindman was a source for the whistleblower, a move that Ross added could be an issue. He tweeted Tuesday that it is “circular reporting.” Walter echoed this Wednesday and noted the moment suggested Vindman had spoken to the whistleblower and had given the person information.
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