Today’s hearing was another dramatic moment for the House Intelligence Committee, a panel that has been well-known for its partisan divisions that exploded into plain sight during the committee’s first GOP-led probe into Russian election interference. All nine Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee in a letter dated March 28 called for Chairman Adam B. Schiff to resign as chairman.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) announced the letter during the hearing, which is the first since Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation ended, finding that President Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia.
Conaway, who led the committee’s Russia probe last year, read from the letter to Schiff:
Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming. The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions, and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information.
Having damaged the integrity of this committee, and having undermined the faith in the United States government and its institutions, your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as chairman of this committee, which alone in the House of Representatives has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. intelligence community.
As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee.
Schiff, seemingly forgetful that the Mueller investigation was started by the Clinton campaign trying to get dirt on Trump, responded to the criticisms on Thursday by accusing Republicans that they “think it’s OK” if members of Trump’s team were willing to accept dirt from Russians. “I don’t think it’s OK. I think It’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic, and yes, I think it’s corrupt, and evidence of collusion,” Schiff said. “I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do think that’s OK, is the day we look back and say that is the day America lost its way.”
Committee members voices join those of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) in calling for Schiff’s resignation as chairman. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has gone a step further and called on Schiff to resign from Congress altogether.
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