Adam Schiff Claims ‘Immunity’ To Avoid Lawsuit
The House Intelligence Committee and its members in Congress displayed questionable tactics throughout President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, and critics say subpoenas from the committee that were used to obtain records from individuals including reporter John Solomon and Rudy Giuliani were illegal.
Now, in a bombshell lawsuit from conservative watch-dog group Judicial Watch seeking to obtain the records of the secretive subpoenas, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff decided to invoke “sovereign immunity,” with a motion sent to the judge attempting to dismiss the entire lawsuit.
Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine arguing that the government cannot commit legal wrong-doing from criminal prosecution.
The lawsuit from Judicial Watch alleged that Adam Schiff “violated the rights of numerous private citizens” in using subpoenas without a lawful basis, and claims that a “disclosure of the requested records would serve the public interest by providing information about the unlawful issuance of the subpoenas.”
In the new motion to dismiss, Adam Schiff’s legal team fired back saying that “these requests and subpoenas were integral to the Committee’s inquiry and consistent with its mandate to investigate and issue a report.”
Judicial Watch “has not demonstrated that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the House Defendants’ interest in non-disclosure,” they added.
Check out what Just The News reported below:
In the motion, lawyers from the Office of General Counsel for the House of Representatives assert four reasons for dismissing the case, including protection under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause.
“First, the doctrine of sovereign immunity deprives the Court of jurisdiction over the House Defendants, and no express and unequivocal waiver exists,” the argument says. “Second, given that the records sought by Plaintiff involve matters pursued and obtained by the House Defendants as part of the House-authorized impeachment inquiry, they are absolutely protected by the Speech or Debate Clause.”
“Third, Plaintiff fails to state a claim because Congress has created a comprehensive scheme for the review of government records—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)—that preempts the common law right sought to be vindicated by this litigation,” the lawyers write. “Finally, under governing case law, the records Plaintiff seeks to review are not ‘public records’ and, therefore, are not subject to the common law right of public access. And even if the records are ‘public records,’ Plaintiff has not demonstrated that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the House Defendants’ interest in non-disclosure.”
Adam Schiff has been under heavy fire for his misconduct in President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, and he has recently gained the attention of high-profile figures in the government. According to the Washington Examiner, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr criticized the California Democrat in a letter last week, saying he was concerned by his actions displayed in late 2019.
Carr pointed out Section 222 of the Communications Act, which “prohibits any telecommunications carrier from releasing customer call records except as authorized by the customer or as required by law.”
Additionally, the FCC commissioner says “federal law has long protected the privacy and confidentiality of Americans’ call records.”
Although he has yet to express any regret from his actions, it is clear that Adam Schiff does not want the public to see the details of his subpoenas, and the lawsuit from Judicial Watch may result in serious consequences for the congressman.