Schiff doubles down on Trump-Russia collusion as GOP calls for resignation
Following a dramatic opening to a hearing on Russian interference in which the Republican minority called on him to resign, House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff angrily laid out all the evidence that he believes shows the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, even if it didn't amount to a criminal conspiracy.
"My colleagues might think it's ok that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what's described as the Russian government's effort to help the Trump campaign."
My colleagues might think it's ok that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help — no, instead that son said he would "love" the help with the Russians.
You might think it was ok that he took that meeting. You might think it's ok that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it's ok that the president's son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it's ok that they concealed it from the public. You might think it's ok that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn't better.
You might think it's ok. ... I don't."
The backdrop: At the start of the hearing — titled, "Putin's Playbook: The Kremlin's Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond" — Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) introduced a letter signed by every Republican on the committee that called for Schiff's resignation. It follows similar calls for Schiff to step down by President Trump and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway.
"Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming. The findings of the special counsel conclusively refute your past and present exertions, and have exposed you of having abused your position to knowingly promote false information.
Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as chairman of this committee. 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 the committee."