Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) dismissed conspiracy theories that he was working with the whistleblower to craft a report against the president.
Schiff began by using Republicans' own words against them. He quoted Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), all of whom have advocated protecting the identity of whistleblowers.
"In short, the conspiracy theory which was outlined earlier that the whistle-blower colluded with the Intelligence Committee staff to hatch an impeachment inquiry is totally wrong," Schiff said. "This is confirmed by the accuracy of the whistleblower complaint which has been corroborated by the evidence that we subsequently gathered in all material respects."
He then went on to attack Republicans who have gone after Schiff's staff.
"I won't go into anything that could lead to the revelation or the identity of the whistleblower, but I can tell you because my staff's names have been brought into the proceeding that my staff acted at all times with the most complete professionalism," Schiff continued. "I am very protective of my staff, as I know that you are, and I'm grateful that we have such bright hard-working people working around the clock to protect this country, and who have served our committee so well, and so it is grieving me to see them smeared."
He went on to say that some of them have had threats and are concerned about their safety because of smears that they have gotten from Republicans and Fox News.
"I can tell you that there is no one who could understand the plight of Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovich more than any staff who have been treated to the smears and now have concerns over their own safety," he explained.
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