Republicans clamored for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s head Monday, demanding he give up his gavel or resign from Congress as part of their campaign of revenge against Democrats who pursued and promoted allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russian government.
Trump and senior White House aides, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other allies of the president on Capitol Hill raced to paint the California Democrat as an overeager disciple of a theory debunked by the Justice Department in a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings released Sunday.
Schiff was pummeled repeatedly on Fox News and other right-leaning media during the last two days. Trump himself picked up on the anti-Schiff tirade, retweeting a “Fox and Friends” interview where the California Democrat was excoriated.
McCarthy called on Schiff to step down as Intelligence Committee chairman during an interview on Monday.
“[Schiff] owes the American public an apology,” McCarthy said. “Schiff has met the standard that he has imposed on other members of Congress of when they should step back from their positions. He has exceeded that standard, and there is no question he should step down from the Intel chairmanship.”
The GOP offensive comes as Schiff is forging ahead with a renewed congressional investigation of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. His committee is slated to publicly interview on Wednesday Trump associate Felix Sater about his efforts to strike a deal for a Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 campaign. On Thursday, the committee has a second Russia-focused hearing on how the Kremlin used oligarchs and their money to influence U.S. politics in 2016.
Democrats are privately raising concerns that Americans won’t have the stomach for a new, heavily politicized Trump-Russia probe, and Republicans are seizing the momentum from the Mueller findings to lash out at Schiff. Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway called for Schiff to resign immediately. And Donald Trump Jr. — who bristled over Schiff’s question’s after a closed-door interview with the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 — tormented him on Twitter.
“Has anyone heard from slimy Adam #fullofschiff Schiff today?” he wrote. “I mean it must be embarrassing to have have [sic] spent the last 2 years as the leader of the tinfoil hat brigade and have it all come crashing down so quick. I’m legitimately concerned for his mental state.”
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