House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday morning during his weekly press conference. McCarthy said that Schiff is "not a prosecutor" and the impeachment inquiry he is leading is a "broken process" that "should be suspended."
"Rep. Adam Schiff isn’t a special prosecutor. He is a member of Congress, and his actions are a blatant abuse of power," McCarthy said.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: Now I'd like to talk about the business of the week, the House Democrats. They continue their work to overturn the results of the 2016 election, and they are doing so through an unfair and unprecedented impeachment inquiry. They are fixated on tearing down the president and not fixing the country's problems, and there are countless examples of important work being ignored.
Let me start by reiterating how broken this process is. Now, over the break you saw that I sent the speaker a letter asking 10 simple questions. She responded by only answering two. It's quite simple. The inquiry should be suspended until the same due process rights that were given to President Nixon and President Clinton and should be provided to President Trump. Instead of answering, the speaker is avoiding, and she is misrepresenting along every step of the way.
I heard the speaker now suggest that this is an investigation phase, not actually an impeachment inquiry as she stated three weeks ago. In fact, she compares the House process now to that of a special counsel, but Adam Schiff is not a prosecutor, and he's not from the executive branch. He's a member of Congress, and that is a blatant abuse of power.
And the independent counsel, Ken Starr, that was a statute that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the president in 1978. It was renewed several times until it expired in 1999. So let me ask again. Will the speaker provide a fair process, the same used for President Nixon and President Clinton in this impeachment? Her actions indicate she will not. Therefore, this inquiry must be suspended.
It should be suspended for what it's preventing from happening, doing the people's work, including funding our troops. As many of you know, the National Defense Authorization bill is languishing. Department of Defense funding is languishing. Together these critical bills include troop pay raises, disaster recovery for our military bases and increased medical funding for NIH.
Democrats are prioritizing impeachment over our own troops. They are prioritizing impeachment over a transformational trade deal, and they are prioritizing impeachment over bipartisan legislation to reduce prescription drug costs.
The speakers insist that the Democrat majority can impeach and legislate at the same time, but the records show that's just not happening. This is a Congress this week that took up two items that were actually amendments and made them a rule bill. The American public expects more from us...
QUESTION: You've been talking about a vote to censure Congressman Schiff. Is that vote coming up, and why do you--
MCCARTHY: Yeah, that will come--that will come up Monday.
QUESTION: Monday. And why do you think he is deserving of censure?
MCCARTHY: Three simple reasons. When you serve on the Intelligence Committee it's different than any other committee in the House because you will read, and you will gather information more--and you will read items that members of the House can't have knowledge of. So when a member from the Intelligence Committee speaks about something, we hold him to a higher standard. We believe that has to be the truth because they are the ones actually to see the information, which we cannot.
What I have found with Adam Schiff, three times to the American public he has lied. He lied at the--
MCCARTHY: He lied at the very beginning when he said he had proof beyond circumstantial evidence, and we just went through a two-year nightmare because of that. He continued from the chair to convey to the American public about a transcript that was so important. What he wished was in it was not. It was so compelling that the Speaker of the House in a national interview with George Stephanopoulos, believed what he said was true.
Then he looked into the cameras and lied to the American public to say he did not know who the whistleblower was. He wished that person would come forward. And only later did we find out that the whistleblower had gone to his own staff. We have no idea what they said or how many times they met. We are now finding out that his own staff had traveled to Ukraine during August. Any other member of Congress would come down to the well and apologize, but this is even a more difficult situation. He is now entrusted to carry something out where nobody else can read.
Members of the Judiciary Committee have come down and tried to see the interviews. One, they're not allowed in the room. Two, they're not even able to see the transcripts. And we're supposed to be voting on something? For an idea that Adam Schiff is going to compile the information about an impeachment when he has knowingly lied to us so many times? That's one problem.
But I think what is appropriate, based upon how many times he has lied to us, to the American public, he should be censured. And I think that's a question for every single member of Congress. How can you trust an individual who misled us on a transcript, that had the speaker only waited 48 hours we'd never be where we are today, misled us about what he said he knew beyond circumstantial evidence and spent millions of dollars and took America through a nightmare, and now tweeting in August saying he doesn't know who the whistleblower is at the same time his staff is going to the Ukraine, at the same time his staff is meeting with the whistleblower.
And then when the whistleblower goes to the inspector general, never mentions that he had met with Adam Schiff's staff. In the form that the whistleblower fills out there is a box in there that you would check, have you met with any congressional. He skipped that. He has tried to hide so many of the facts, and then when he was put in position to give the facts, he lied about them. He should be held accountable just like every other member.
It is appropriate for him to be censured. The question will be, will their own members stand up for what is right? Do they think it's appropriate that the chair of the Intel Committee lied to the American public, but more importantly lying to them? How can you trust anything that he puts forth?