Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff hired a highly placed former Trump White House staffer to his investigative team, and it is raising serious concerns among current and former administration officials who spoke to SaraACarter.com.
Abigail Grace is a former National Security Council and was transferred from the Middle East office to the Asia office during her tenure at the White House, according to two former White House officials. The former officials spoke on background as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.
Grace, who has a high-level security clearance, was hired Monday by Schiff. Schiff, D-CA, stated repeatedly his committee will investigate all aspects of President Donald Trump’s private life, alleged Russia collusion and Trump’s family.
Schiff’s office declined to comment on Grace’s hire. Grace could not be reached for comment.
Another Possible Schiff Hire
Similarly, Schiff is now considering hiring Jordan Kelly, another NSC staffer, according to several former and one current administration official. Kelly replaced former White House staffer Anthony Ferante in February, 2017, the sources said. She came to the White House at the recommendation of former embattled FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, said the sources. McCabe is now under investigation by the DOJ for lying about his communication with the media. Kelly worked as an FBI attorney under McCabe. She would also have access to the same executive privilege material as Grace.
Kelly could not be reached for comment.
Interestingly, Feranti is a former FBI agent and White House Cyber Security specialist. Foreign Policy revealed last year that Feranti’s security firm was hired by BuzzFeed news. More importantly, the firm was tasked with proving true parts of the unverified anti-Trump dossier to aid the news outlet’s legal defense against a defamation lawsuit.
However, the concern over Grace’s hire stems from her high-level security clearance and placement within the White House NSC. Further, Grace had access to classified information and information that is considered executive privilege. Likewise, those privileges include transcripts of Trump’s calls and notes of meetings with foreign leaders, said White House officials.
“The White House counsel’s office should immediately give Abigail grace and Jordan Kelly a warning letter that they are not authorized violate executive privilege,” said one former senior White House official.”This incident highlights why remaining members under the Obama Administration currently at the White House should be either fired or reassigned.”
Moreover, the situation has also caught Trump’s attention and on Tuesday, the president called Schiff’s tactics a “Witch Hunt!”
“The Dems and their committees are going nuts,” said Trump on Twitter. “The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!”
….The Dems and their committees are going “nuts.” The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government. I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2019
However, former and current administration officials have long complained about Obama holdovers at the White House.
“It’s crazy that there’s so many holdovers in these positions still and something needs to be done. Maybe now there will be,” a current official said.
There are many holdovers in the National Security Council and the Presidential Personnel Office, which hires White House staff, the official added.
Jennie Taer contributed to this report.