House Freedom Caucus to Speaker Pelosi: Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff Has Got to Go

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Posted: Oct 09, 2019 7:28 PM
House Freedom Caucus to Speaker Pelosi: Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff Has Got to Go

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asking her to immediately recuse Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) from overseeing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. According to the conservative group, Schiff has "demonstrated that he is not qualified for this serious responsibly," especially after his past interactions with the Ukrainian whistleblower.

“For over two years, Adam Schiff misled the American people with his numerous attempts to manufacture evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government,” Chairman Andy Biggs said in a statement. “Once that fairytale evaporated, Mr. Schiff quickly moved on to his next hoax: a non-existent quid pro quo between President Trump and the President of Ukraine. This time, just like the Russian hoax, Mr. Schiff has been caught manipulating facts leading to baseless accusations against the President. Mr. Schiff is hardly an unbiased arbiter of this unauthorized impeachment process, and we call for his immediate recusal.”

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

We request that you ask for the immediate recusal of Chairman Schiff as the head of this unauthorized impeachment inquiry. His interactions with the whistleblower make him a potential fact witness and his actions thus far have demonstrated that he is not qualified for this serious responsibility. 

Prior to the filing of the complaint that led to the opening of this unauthorized impeachment inquiry, Chairman Schiff’s committee staff communicated with the whistleblower about the content of his complaint. According to reports, information from the whistleblower was then communicated to Chairman Schiff. The public knows little else about Chairman Schiff’s dealings with the whistleblower because Chairman Schiff has failed to disclose the interaction. When asked directly whether the committee had any contact with the whistleblower, Chairman Schiff lied and said no. In light of this, Chairman Schiff must be required to answer questions about his interactions with the whistleblower under oath, as he has proven that he cannot be trusted to be honest otherwise.

In 2017, you and your colleagues, including Chairman Schiff, demanded the recusal of then-Chairman Nunes from the Russia investigation because he allegedly met privately with a source to review sensitive information, without disclosing the meeting or the information to the committee. In keeping with past precedent, principles of fairness demand that you request the recusal of Chairman Schiff under these similar circumstances.

We urge you to give this matter your immediate attention. The integrity of this institution demands it.

The Caucus Chairman, Andy Biggs, previously introduced legislation to "censure" Schiff over the Ukrainian whistleblower complaint. Biggs said he now has 100 co-sponsors.

The Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump was announced the evening before the White House released a transcript of Trump's call with Ukrainian President Voldoymyr Zelensky. During the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. While Biden was overseeing relations with Ukraine on behalf of the Obama administration, Hunter was being paid $50,000 a month by a Ukrainian gas company, despite having no experience in natural energy. 

A whistleblower filed a report claiming Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless an investigation took place. The transcript showed that to be false.

Schiff has come under fire for multiple reasons. For one, he knew about the whistleblower complaint a month before it was brought to the House Intelligence Committee's attention. It was also discovered that he had direct contact with the whistleblower. 

Chairman Schiff was also the one who heavily pushed the Russia collusion theory for more than two years, telling Americans he had "proof" Trump colluded with Russia to with the 2016 election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report found that to be false.