Adam Schiff Should Be Censured for His Media Statements
Rep. Adam Schiff’s behavior as President Trump’s chief antagonist has gone so far over the top that he has violated the rules of the House of Representatives. His violations are so egregious that it’s time to sanction him and remove him from his position as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. To that end, I recently filed a formal complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, demanding that the office launch an official investigation.
Congressman Schiff’s violations, according to media reports, are not new – in fact, they have been going on for years, since long before he took over as chairman of the intelligence committee.
In early April of 2017 – less than three months after President Trump took office, and before his removal of then-FBI Director James Comey led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel – Congressman Schiff was the butt of a prank phone call by Russian radio comics who offered to give him what they called “compromat” (compromising information) on President Trump. According to the Russians, who posed on the call as a Ukrainian politician, they had “obtained recordings and documents that proved Vladimir Putin was blackmailing Trump with naked photos taken during an affair between the president and a Russian glamour model,” as The Daily Mail reported. Schiff took detailed notes on the call, asking for names to be spelled properly, so that he could follow up.
Schiff’s staff said later that he knew all along it was a prank. But if that were true, why would one of his intelligence committee staffers have followed up with an email to the Russia radio comics describing the call as “productive” and asking “how best to arrange a pick-up of those materials from your Embassy here in Washington, DC?”
More recently, Congressman Schiff lied on multiple occasions when he told reporters for at least three different news outlets that he and his committee staff had had no contact with the so-called “whistleblower,” when, in fact, they had.
On Sept. 16, Schiff told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that neither the whistleblower nor his lawyers had contacted him. But Schiff also deflected, saying, “I don’t want to get into any particulars. I want to make sure that there’s nothing that I do that jeopardizes the whistleblower in any way.”
The following day, Schiff appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and told Sam Stein that neither he nor his staff had “spoken directly with the whistleblower.” Said Schiff, “We would like to. But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the Director of National Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation.”
Perhaps worst of all, on Sept. 19 Schiff told reporters: “In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern.”
These bald-faced lies were so egregious that even the fact-checker for The Washington Post – no den of Trump sycophants – declared: “Schiff on ‘Morning Joe’ clearly made a statement that was false. He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record. He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the IG’s office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication. The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity.” And then the fact-checker awarded Schiff four “Pinocchios” – the worst prize possible for telling deliberate lies.
And who can forget Schiff’s opening statement at a hearing of his committee two weeks ago, when he put words into the mouth of the president of the United States, trying to pass him off as a mob boss? It was only because committee Republicans objected strenuously that Schiff backed off and claimed he had meant his statement as “a parody.”
Adam Schiff has abused his position as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In his fanatical pursuit of President Trump, he has misused taxpayer-funded resources for his partisan political agenda, and he has lied repeatedly. It is time for him to go.