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House intel chair: GOP fixation on Supreme Court leaker ‘a sideshow’

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is seen as the Jan. 6 House Select Committee holds a business meeting on Monday, March 28, 2022 to consider former Trump administration officials Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino, Jr. in contempt of Congress.
Greg Nash
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is seen as the Jan. 6 House Select Committee holds a business meeting on Monday, March 28, 2022 to consider former Trump administration officials Peter Navarro and Daniel Scavino, Jr. in contempt of Congress.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman if the House Intelligence Committee, on Wednesday dismissed the outrage expressed by members of the GOP over the leaking of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court regarding abortion rights.

“I don’t care how the draft leaked. That’s a sideshow,” Schiff wrote in a tweet. “What I care about is that a small number of conservative justices, who lied about their plans to the Senate, intend to deprive millions of women of reproductive care.”

The leaked draft opinion, shared with Politico on Monday, shows the court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion.

While Republicans in Congress and across the nation have cheered the court’s apparent stance on Roe, some have suggested the draft opinion was leaked in an attempt to intimidate the conservative justices or change how they ultimately rule on the issue.

During remarks in Washington state on Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she is telling people to focus on the substance of the opinion.

“The press likes to say, ‘Well, there are two things here: How the document got released, and the decision.’ No. … What is important is the substance of it, and what it means in the lives [of Americans].”

On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts directed the marshal of the Supreme Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.

“This lawless action should be investigated and punished to the fullest extent possible, the fullest extent possible,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during a floor speech this week. “As I’ve warned in the past, courts bowing to activist pressure would never enhance judicial legitimacy. It could only erode it. And the hostage takers would never settle for half a loaf.”

“Yesterday’s unprecedented leak is an attempt to severely damage the Supreme Court,” added House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “This clearly coordinated campaign to intimidate and obstruct the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, and its independence in our political system, from upholding the Constitution must be immediately investigated by the court.”

Democrats, meanwhile, have accused several of the recently confirmed conservative justices on the court of misleading them about their views on Roe.

Schiff has drawn scrutiny from Republicans in recent years relative to his own handling of classified information. Early in 2020, former President Trump accused Schiff of leaking information that Russia had sought to interfere with a Democratic primary to boost Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) campaign. 

Schiff at the time denied the accusation, telling Trump: ”The only thing Americans despise more than foreign actors trying to affect the vote is a president unwilling to do anything to stop it.”

–Updated at 8:58 a.m.

Tags Adam Schiff John Roberts Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Supreme Court leak

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