Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, knew details of the allegations against President Donald Trump before the whistleblower filed a complaint against the president, The New York Times reports.
After hearing from the whistleblower, a committee aide referred the whistleblower to the inspector general and told him to get a lawyer, Schiff's spokesperson told the Times.
"Like other whistleblowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistleblower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community," the spokesperson, Patrick Boland, told the Times.
Schiff earlier this week told MSNBC his committee had "not spoken directly with the whistleblower."
Boland said the committee did not review or receive the complaint in advance.
"I think it's a scandal that he knew before," Trump said Wednesday at a White House news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. "I'd go a step further – I think he probably helped write it."
He added: "That's a big story. He knew long before and he helped write it, too."
Trump's comment came after The New York Times reported Schiff got an early account of what became the whistleblower complaint that alleges Trump pressured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer caught in the middle of the Ukraine drama, tweeted Schiff was the reason he was considering a major lawsuit Wednesday:
"We can allege he advanced information he knew was false as part of first frame-up and, let's not prejudge this one, but not looking so good. Keep following the real story, for trampling on the constitutional rights of citizens by engaging in several illicit plans, carried out by illegal means, to remove the President of the US, on knowingly falsified charges allegations."
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