House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is reportedly "in panic mode" over transcripts recently cleared for release of his committee's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian collusion, Fox News reported Wednesday.
The documents reportedly show that "top law enforcement and intelligence officials" acknowledged to Schiff's committee that they had no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
A senior Trump administration official told the news outlet that "Schiff is in panic mode" because, the source said, the documents show that Schiff was lying when he said repeatedly that there was "direct evidence" of collusion.
Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell reportedly informed Schiff that the transcripts of all 53 interviews the committee conducted — adding up to more than 6,000 pages in total — were cleared for release in a letter this week. The Intelligence Committee had unanimously voted in September 2018 to release the documents to the public.
In the letter, Grenell urged Schiff to release them to the public and countered that he would do it if the congressman refused to oblige. It is not immediately clear, however, whether Grenell's office has the authority to release the transcripts.
Earlier this week, House Republicans sent a letter to the Intelligence Committee demanding access to the transcripts and accusing Schiff of blocking their release:
We understand now that Chairman Schiff is blocking the release of these transcripts. This news, if accurate, is disturbing — especially in light of Chairman Schiff's cries in 2019 for transparency regarding allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. For almost four years, prominent Democrat politicians and commentators alleged that President Trump colluded with Russia, with Chairman Schiff going so far as to say that he had "direct evidence" of collusion. Now that these allegations have been disproven by several investigations, the American people deserve to have transparency about why public figures such as Chairman Schiff continued to promote such wild accusations.
In its report, Fox News noted that Schiff has recently ordered his staff director to reach out to intelligence agencies for information on how involved Grenell, a Trump ally, was in the declassification and redaction process. The outlet noted that the redactions were completed before Grenell stepped into his role.
After the report dropped, a source close to the White House confirmed with the Daily Wire that Schiff really is "in a state of panic."
"Schiff really is panicking," the source added. "[He] has been making sloppy mistakes. It was a colossally stupid mistake on his part to send his staff out to find out what role Grenell had in the process, it gave Grenell's allies in the Intelligence Community the perfect opportunity to disclose that the redactions took place before Grenell got there. Some of Schiff's other mistakes will play out over the next couple of days."
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee before his retirement from Congress in 2018, previously indicated that the transcripts could be a "game-changer."