House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said that President Donald Trump’s call for China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s actions in the country was a call for election interference.
Biden is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“The president of the United States encouraging a foreign nation to interfere again to help his campaign by investigating a rival is a fundamental breach of a president’s oath of office,” Schiff told reporters in Washington on Oct. 3.
“It endangers our elections. It endangers our national security. It ought to be condemned by every member of this body, Democrats and Republicans alike.”
Schiff is under increasing pressure to step down as chairman of the House Intelligence after admitting he misled the public by stating his staff never met with the person who filed a complaint against Trump.
Schiff late Wednesday said he regretted not being clearer.
Lawmakers erupted after the revelation that the whistleblower went to Schiff’s committee before filing the complaint. Some have called on him to resign from his position.
A number already signed a motion to officially censure Schiff for fabricating parts of the Trump-Ukraine transcript while chairing a committee hearing last week.
“We should go further than censure. He should be removed from the chairmanship of the intel community, and one person makes that decision—the speaker of the House,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Fox News on Wednesday.
“He is now, as you know, a fact witness. And nowhere in our justice system allows a fact witness to be the prosecutor. He needs to recuse himself today, and the speaker needs to remove him as the chairman of one of the most sensitive committees that we have, the Intel Committee.”
Re-upping my tweet from last week given the breaking news today that Adam Schiff had early access to the whistleblower & DID NOT share it with his own committee – instead he manipulated this information & played partisan political games. He should immediately step down as Chair. https://t.co/809PzeUjBs
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) October 2, 2019
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also called on Schiff to resign.
“Re-upping my tweet from last week given the breaking news today that Adam Schiff had early access to the whistleblower & DID NOT share it with his own committee—instead he manipulated this information & played partisan political games. He should immediately step down as Chair,” she wrote in a statement.
Republican lawmakers sent a letter in March (pdf) asking Schiff to resign after former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team found it could not establish collusion between Trump or his campaign and Russia, despite repeated promises by Schiff that Trump colluded with Russia.
“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 undermined faith in U.S. government institutions,” they wrote in the letter.