Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., blasted Republicans calling him to step down from his post as chair of the House Intelligence Committee for his repeated claims of collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian operatives.
Schiff on Sunday refused to back down from his claims that the evidence of wrongdoing by Trump “is in plain sight” and said he has no regrets calling out the president for what he believes is “deeply unethical and improper conduct.”
“I think there is a different standard here between the Republicans and the Democrats,” Schiff said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The Republicans seem to think that as long as you can’t prove it’s a crime, all is fair in love and war…I don’t feel that way, I don’t think most Americans feel that way.”
For two years, Schiff routinely sounded ominous warnings about what Special Counsel Robert Mueller might find on Trump.
In March 2017, Schiff told MSNBC that “there is more than circumstantial evidence now” of a relationship between Russia and Trump’s associates. In December of that year, Schiff said on CNN: “The Russians offered help, the campaign accepted help. The Russians gave help and the president made full use of that help. That is pretty damning, whether it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiracy or not.”
And in May of last year, Schiff said on ABC that the Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee emails is “like Watergate in the sense that you had a break in at the Democratic headquarters, in this case a virtual one, not a physical break in, and you had a president as part of a cover up.” Schiff said later that the Russia investigation is “a size and scope probably beyond Watergate.”
Despite Schiff’s claims, Mueller found no evidence of coordination or conspiracy involving Trump, his campaign and the Russian government, Attorney General William Barr wrote in a letter released late last month.
Now Trump’s Republican allies – from White House adviser Kellyanne Conway to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – are calling on Schiff to do everything from vacating his committee chairmanship to leaving office.
“He owes an apology to the American public,” McCarthy said. “There is no place in Adam Schiff’s world or in Congress that he should be chair of the intel committee.”
McCarthy added: “There is no way he could lead the intel committee and he should step back.”
Schiff remains steadfast in his claims that there is evidence of wrongdoing “in plain sight.”
“I don’t regret calling out this president for what i consider deeply unethical and improper conduct and the moment we start to think that we should back away from exposing this kind of malfeasance and corruption is a dangerous point,” he said.
Schiff added: “There is a risk when you have an immoral president, a president who lacks in basic character who violates the norms of office. There is even a greater risk in doing too little oversight. I make no apologies for that and I’m going to continue holding this administration responsible.”
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