A House Republican resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for abusing his power to mislead the American people failed on Monday night. He’s been conducting his interviews behind closed doors, withholding documents from minority members of his committee and leaking cherry picked pieces of information to deliberately mislead the American people. (Scroll down to read the full resolution.)
Although House Republicans did not have the votes to pass this resolution, merely introducing it has shined a light on the secretive, partisan manner in which Schiff is conducting the proceedings. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto’s show on Monday to tell us what we already know, that Schiff is engineering a total political hit job on President Trump.
Republicans aren’t the only ones to notice how covertly Schiff has handled the impeachment inquiry so far.
In a recent appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” he was questioned about the secrecy surrounding his inquiry by journalist Margaret Brennan. Schiff replied, “There’s a reason why investigations and grand jury proceedings, for example, and I think this is analogous to a grand jury proceeding, are done out of the public view initially. Now we may very well call some of the same witnesses or all the same witnesses in public hearings as well. But we want to make sure that we meet the needs of the investigation and not give the President or his legal minions the opportunity to tailor their testimony and in some cases fabricate testimony to suit their interests.”
A Wall Street Journal editorial points out:
A grand jury is a criminal proceeding. Impeachment is a political process in which the House defines the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Mr. Schiff wants it both ways: Run his secret hearings like a criminal grand jury, but then impeach Mr. Trump of political offenses even if the President committed no crime.
And he wants to keep it all secret so Mr. Trump and his “legal minions”—i.e., his lawyers and the House minority—don’t have access to the evidence he will use against the President. Oh, and he says contrary evidence will be fabricated—an accusation of a crime in advance but with no evidence. With his every statement and action, Mr. Schiff is making Mr. Trump’s case that this impeachment is a rigged game.
The American people are so much smarter than Schiff or most other Democrats give them credit for. We’re all still waiting for the evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians which was hiding in plain sight. This man went on the Sunday talk shows and lied to voters for over two years.
In fact, a newly released Rasmussen national telephone and online survey of 1,000 likely voters found that 51% believe it’s Likely that senior law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency; 34% say it’s Very Likely; 36% say it’s Unlikely; 22% say it’s Not At All Likely; 13% are not sure.
Finally, separately but related, Byron York reported that all nine Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee signed a letter to Schiff accusing him of withholding 21 documents from them. Townhall’s Guy Benson points out that this is more significant than we might think because two of the members, Reps.Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Will Hurd (R-TX) stand out. Stefanik, he says, is “a young, serious member from upstate New York who does not reflexively back Trump or feed red meat to the party faithful. Will Hurd, is a fiercely independent swing district Texan who has frequently criticized and broken with the president…and who is retiring after this term. Hurd cannot be caricatured as a paint-by-numbers partisan. He also has an extensive background in the intelligence world. If he signed a letter objecting to Schiff’s tactics, the objections should be taken seriously.”
Although, with Republicans currently in the minority, the resolution failed and the letter won’t have much of an effect, it’s good to see Schiff being called out formally for the first time. Let’s hope we see more of this.
All nine Republicans on House Intel Committee send letter to Chairman Schiff accusing him of 'withholding the existence of…documents from the minority.' List 21 letters. Also slam 'highly irregular manner' of impeachment investigation. pic.twitter.com/F9K3SHNj4q
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 18, 2019
.@RepAdamSchiff has engaged in lies, misrepresentations, and obfuscation during this "impeachment inquiry." I'm co-sponsoring this resolution because he needs to be held accountable. https://t.co/dDQiqdVP5c
— Congressman Fred Keller (@RepFredKeller) October 21, 2019