Fact Check: Adam Schiff Lied About Tim Morrison’s Testimony About Ukraine Call

White House Russia expert Timothy Morrison arrives for a deposition for the House Impeachment inquiries at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, October 31, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

CLAIM: Former National Security Council official Tim Morrison reported the Ukraine phone call right away because it was political.

VERDICT: FALSE. Morrison saw nothing illegal — or political — about the call.

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed during President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial on Thursday that several officials listening to his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported “came forward in real time to report the president’s conduct.”

He specifically noted Morisson, though Morisson testified in the House Intelligence Committee that he saw nothing wrong with the call.

Morrison testified that he approached a National Security Council attorney about the call because he was worried that it would be misused, politically, by the president’s opponents in Washington — a prediction that has come true.

Schiff acknowledged that Morrison did not think there was anything illegal about the call, but played a clip of his public testimony in which the Democrats’ staff counsel tried to pressure Morrison to offer something more useful:

GOLDMAN: But you would agree, right, that asking a foreign government to investigate a domestic political rival is inappropriate, would you not?

MORRISON: It’s not what — it’s not what we recommended the president discuss.

Note that Morrison did not agree with the Democrats’ characterization of the call. But Schiff presented it that way to the Senate during his presentation in the impeachment trial. Schiff knew he was lying to the Senate — because Tim Morrison told Schiff himself that he saw nothing political about the call, in his previous closed-door testimony:

Morisson vs. Schiff (House Intelligence Committee)

Morisson vs. Schiff (House Intelligence Committee)

THE CHAIRMAN: And you weren’t concerned that the President bringing up one of his political opponents in the Presidential election and asking a favor with respect to the DNC server or 2016 theory, you weren’t concerned that those things would cause people to believe that the President was asking his counterpart to conduct an investigation that might influence his reelection campaign?

MR. MORRISON: No.

THE CHAIRMAN: That never occurred to you?

MR. MORRISON: No.

THE CHAIRMAN: Did you recognize during the — as you listened to the call that if Ukraine were to conduct these investigations, that it would inure to the President’s political interests?

MR. MORRISON: No.

Schiff lied to the Senate about what Morrison testified about his own impressions of the call, playing a selectively-edited video in which Democrats’ counsel used his own words, not Morrison’s, to describe his impression of the call.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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