“Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” Trump wrote on Twitter on March 28.
The president issued the message as nine Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee sent Schiff a letter calling on him to step down from his post as chairman of the committee.
Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
In the letter, the nine Republicans wrote that Schiff’s 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 duty in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee.”
Republicans including Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), Rep. Michael Conaway (Texas), Rep. Michael Turner (Ohio), Rep. Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), Rep. Chris Stewart (Utah), Rep Eric Crawford (Ark.), Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Rep. Will Hurd (Texas), and Rep. John Ratcliffe (Texas) signed the missive. Similar to the president, the Republicans appear to accuse Schiff of lying and leaking information to sustain the collusion narrative.
“Your repeated public statements, which implied knowledge of classified facts supporting the collusion allegations, occurred at the same time anonymous leaks of alleged intelligence and law enforcement information were appearing in the media,” the letter stated.
GOP letter asking Schiff to resign as House Intelligence Committee chairman: pic.twitter.com/QfRbnfD1cO
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) March 28, 2019
Schiff has been the leading voice among the Democrats claiming to have evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He has not released any evidence despite becoming the chair of the intelligence committee this year and having the power to do so.
Calls for Schiff to resign began after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded a 22-month investigation and reported that there is no evidence of conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on March 25 that Schiff should resign for “peddling a lie.”
“He has no right as somebody who has been peddling a lie day after day after day unchallenged,” she said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did not go as far as to ask Schiff to step down from Congress but demanded that the California Democrat step down from his chairmanship of the intelligence committee.
“He owes an apology to the American public,” McCarthy told Fox News. “There is no place in Adam Schiff’s world or in Congress that he should be chair of the intel committee.”
Despite Mueller’s conclusion that there is no evidence of collusion, Schiff stands by his prior statements.
“Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to establish conspiracy, notwithstanding Russian offers to help Trump’s campaign, their acceptance, and a litany of concealed interactions with Russia,” Schiff wrote on Twitter, without offering evidence. “I trust Mueller’s prosecutorial judgment, but the country must see the evidence.”
Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to establish conspiracy, notwithstanding Russian offers to help Trump’s campaign, their acceptance, and a litany of concealed interactions with Russia.
I trust Mueller’s prosecutorial judgement, but the country must see the evidence.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 24, 2019
Schiff shrugged off calls for his resignation, telling CNN that he is “more than used to attacks from my GOP colleagues and I would expect nothing less.”
Ashley Etienne, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Schiff.
“Democrats aren’t going to be intimidated by the White House or congressional Republicans, we’re not going to be distracted from securing the release of the full Mueller report and the underlying evidence, and we will continue to pursue legitimate oversight because that’s what the Constitution requires,” Etienne told Politico.
Reporting on statements by politicians insulates the media from libel claims. As a result, Democratic politicians became useful conduits for establishment media outlets, which sustained the Russia-collusion narrative without evidence.
The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC led the charge in sustaining the collusion narrative, publishing more than 8,500 articles on the investigation since Mueller was appointed in May 2017, according to research by the Republican National Committee.
The bulk of the news coverage misrepresented developments in the Mueller investigation as further evidence of collusion, even though both prosecutors and the deputy attorney general specifically noted at various stages of the Mueller probe that no American has been charged with conspiring with Russia. The coverage continued even after the House Intelligence Committee concluded more than a year ago that there was no evidence of collusion.
In the meantime, television networks devoted 38 hours of coverage spinning the false Russia-collusion narrative, according to a review of news coverage by the Media Research Center, a level of coverage one senior editor said is “normally associated only with a major war or a presidential election.”