Posts tagged with "Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California)"

The Russians are coming: Lawmakers learn that the Kremlin is tampering with 2020 primaries and election

February 24, 2020

We knew it all along: Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia has mounted a U.S. campaign to get President Donald Trump re-elected. Now, the president is angry and alarmed—not by the Kremlin’s meddling—but by the very real possibility that Democrats may use the information against him, The New York Times reports.

The day after the February 13 briefing to Congress, the president berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of National Intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said.

According to the Times, Trump was particularly irritated that Representative Adam Schiff (D- California), who recently served as the impeachment manager in the Senate, was at the briefing.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, the president’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that he had been “tough on Russia” and that he had strengthened European security.

Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying the conclusions could have been delivered in a less pointed manner or left out entirely, to avoid angering Republicans. The intelligence official who delivered the briefing, Shelby Pierson, served as an aide to Maguire and has a reputation for speaking bluntly.

Although intelligence officials have previously told lawmakers that Russia’s interference campaign was continuing, the Times said that last week’s briefing included what appeared to be new information– that Russia intended to interfere with the 2020 Democratic primaries as well as the general election.

On Wednesday, the president announced that he was replacing Maguire with Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and an aggressively vocal Trump supporter. And while some current and former officials speculated that the briefing might have played a role in that move, two administration officials said the timing was coincidental.

A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and its election security office declined to comment to the Times. A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Research contact: @nytimes

Adam Schiff: ‘Dangerous’ Trump chooses own personal interests over country and Constitution

January 27, 2020

House impeachment manager Representative Adam Schiff (D-California) showed off his prosecutorial chops on Thursday night, January 23, capping the second round of the Senate inquiry, the Huffington Post reports.

Schiff, who is also the chairman of the House Intelligence Commitee, delivered a fervent appeal, the news outlet said; imploring Republicans to vote to remove Donald Trump from office because the president had put his political aspirations ahead of the nation’s interests.

Schiff said that no one was arguing in good faith that Trump wasn’t guilty of putting his personal political interests ahead of the interests of the United States when he withheld aid to Ukraine to pressure its government to smear a political rival.

“He’s done what he’s charged with. He withheld the money, he withheld the meeting, he used it to coerce Ukraine to do these political investigations. He covered it up, he obstructed us, he’s trying to obstruct you, and he’s violated the Constitution,” Schiff said.

“Do we really have any doubt about the facts here? Does anyone really question if the president is capable of what he’s charged with? No one is really making the argument ‘Donald Trump would never do such a thing’ because, of course, we know that he would and, of course, we know that he did,” Schiff said.

“That makes him dangerous to us, to our country,” Schiff said. “Why would Donald Trump believe a man like Rudy Giuliani over a man like [FBI Director] Christopher Wray? Why would anyone in their right mind believe Rudy Giuliani over Christopher Wray? Because he wanted to, and because what Rudy was offering him was something that would help him personally, and what Christopher Wray was offering him was merely the truth.”

If Russia tries to interfere in the 2020 election, Schiff said, Trump will choose his own personal interests over the interests of the country yet again.

“Let’s say they start blatantly interfering in our election again to help Donald Trump. Can you have the least bit of confidence that Donald Trump will stand up to them and protect our national interest over his own personal interest? You know you can’t, which makes him dangerous to this country. You know you can’t. You know you can’t count on him,” Schiff said.

“The American people deserve a president they can count on to put their interests first,” Schiff said. “The framers [of the U.S. Constitution] couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter. And you know that what he did was not right.”

“No Constitution can protect us if right doesn’t matter anymore. And you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election if he’s allowed to.”

“Right matters. And the truth matters,” Schiff said. “Otherwise we are lost.”

It’s unlikely that Republicans took those words to heart. Were the American people listening? The polling numbers have not been released yet.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Yea or nay? Pelosi’s equivocation on impeachment splits House Democrats

March 15, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chooses her battles carefully—and she sure knows how to pick her way through a G.O.P. minefield.

In a March 11 interview with The Washington Post Magazine that has since gone viral, Pelosi said that she is “not for [the] impeachment” of President Donald Trump because “it divides the country … And he’s just not worth it.”

However, her statement—which was well-received by the president and his Republican posse during a time of partisan division—only has widened the fissure among House Democrats.

On the one hand, she reaffirmed what many cooler heads in the caucus are saying: That impeachment should be based solely on facts and evidence—not political considerations. And that the evidence of criminal conduct should be so unassailable that it inflames bipartisan censure.

On the other hand, many of the party’s newbies—elected in 2016—think there’s already evidence of malfeasance and it should be acted on immediately.

Thus, Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, sided with the Speaker, telling reporters, “A bipartisan process would have to be extra clear and compelling. I think the Speaker is absolutely right. In its absence, an impeachment … becomes a partisan exercise doomed for failure. And I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience.”

Conversely, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), who has been in office since 2017, told Politico that impeaching the president isn’t about “whether or not the president is worth it. The question is whether the republic is worth it and whether the public interest commands it and whether there are high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Raskin added, “We can’t get so frustrated with Donald Trump that we impeach him just for being Donald Trump, but we can’t get so frustrated with Donald Trump that we don’t impeach him because he’s Donald Trump.”

Politico noted that, while Speaker Pelosi had somewhat distanced herself from taking action on impeachment, she had not ruled it out–leaving it as a very real and possible option, should the committees’ investigations turn up any real dirt.

“I think there’s enough going on in the various committees for impeachment to take care of itself,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) told the political news outlet. “These committees have to build will in the American people for impeachment. Impeachment is a political question. I don’t care what we may feel — if the public isn’t there, we can’t go there. And I think the committee hearings and various things going on are what’s needed in order for the public to get where they need to be.”

Research contact: @sarahnferris

Is the POTUS ‘obstructing justice’ by demanding declassification of Mueller probe documents?

September 19, 2018

The POTUS is treading a thin line, between obstruction of justice and presidential privilege.

On September 17, President Donald Trump directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to immediately declassify portions of the June 2017 FISA court application regarding former Trump campaign adviser Carter W.Page, according to a report by the Huffington Post.

The president also demanded the public release of text messages exchanged by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Trump’s defenders on Capitol Hill and in the conservative media have routinely used the Strzok-Page text messages to undermine the Mueller probe and suggest that the FBI is biased against Trump, the news outlet said.

In immediate response to the order, Representative Adam Schiff (D-California-28th District), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, sent out a tweet at 8:08 p.m. on September 17, remarking: “President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense. The DOJ and FBI have previously informed me that release of some of this information would cross a ‘red line.’”

In a statement picked up by MSN, Schiff characterized the president’s order as “a clear abuse of power,” suggesting that Trump  “has decided to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative.”

Representative Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia-11th District) also came out against the release of documents, tweeting shortly after 8 p.m. on September 17, “More obstruction from the President.”

And Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) tweeted on September 18,”The President is trying to undermine an active investigation through reckless declassification. We need an independent DOJ to do everything possible to protect sources and methods.”

The FBI previously had released a heavily redacted version of the Page FISA application in July. Trump also ordered the public release of texts messages sent by former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as well as Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. The president also ordered the release of notes on meetings with Ohr, who relayed information to the FBI collected by former British spy Christopher Steele about Trump’s relationship with Russia.

According to the Huffington Post, a Justice Department spokesperson said late on September 17 that the DOJ and FBI were “already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President’s order.”

The president’s order, the spokesperson said, triggered “a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests.”

Research contact: ryan.reilly@huffingtonpost.com