OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff came under verbal assault this week by GOP lawmakers who have called him out for his continuous false claims regarding former President Donald Trump and so-called “Russian collusion.”
In an interview with Fox Business host Elizabeth MacDonald following a jury returning five guilty verdicts against actor and hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett, Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., likened him to the California Democrat.
“Democrat Adam Schiff saying that even though there are many discredited claims in the debunked Steele dossier, that the [Department of Justice Inspector General] and multiple experts have said this is totally false, he’s still thinking parts of it are trust trustworthy and going after Trump,” said MacDonald.
She then played a clip of Schiff’s appearance on CNN Wednesday with Wolf Blitzer, who reminded Schiff that much of what the dossier contained was unreliable BS.
“Do you worry, Congressman, that your credibility, other Democrats’ credibility could be hurt by that?” asked Blitzer.
“No,” Schiff said, before claiming, falsely, that the dossier played a “very limited role” in shaping the investigations into Trump. In fact, the FBI relied heavily on the dossier to obtain FISA warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.
“It doesn’t change the fact that the president’s son was secretly meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian delegation to get dirt on Hillary Clinton or that others in Trump orbit were also seeking the gain of the Russian hack of the Democratic Party,” Schiff said.
“The Steele dossier is a nice talking point for kind of right-wing pundits, but it’s a distraction from what we did learn. What we did learn was very damning of the former president, of the Russians, and his campaign,” he added.
“It doesn’t change Donald Trump’s corrupt behavior in 2016,” Schiff said in the clip before MacDonald brought in Bishop.
“Well, Adam Schiff is misleading again,” said MacDonald. “The Steele dossier did not play a limited role. The DOJ inspector general noted the FBI used the Steele dossier as a basis to get FISA wiretaps – meant for terrorists – to go after the Trump campaign. There goes Adam Schiff misleading again.”
Bishop added: “Adam Schiff is the Jussie Smollett of Congress. He just hasn’t had his trial yet.”
Earlier, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., also took potshots at the California Democrat over his fixation with Trump in an exchange on the House floor.
“Every time Chairman Schiff rises to speak on a bill about intelligence and security and holding the president accountable, I get excited hoping we’re going to hear about that evidence of collusion and all the other investigations that were conducted in the House,” Comer, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said.
Schiff responded: “Are you aware that the president’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, met with an agent of Russian intelligence and provided Russian intelligence with internal campaign polling data, as well as strategic insights about their intelligence in key battleground states? Are you aware of that?”
“I think everyone is aware of every bit of information that you have tried to peddle over the last four years,” Comer said in response.
“Are you aware that while the Trump campaign chairman was providing internal polling data, that Kremlin intelligence was leading a clandestine social media campaign to elect Donald Trump?” Schiff asked.
“I think we see every day … Facebook just announced that Russia was trying to do a Facebook campaign in Ukraine, if I remember reading that correctly,” Comer said.
Several investigations — by Congress, by the Justice Department, and by former special counsel Robert Mueller — found evidence of ‘collusion’ between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. None.
During the same exchange, which was part of a debate over a Democrat bill that seeks to strip power from the presidency, Comer pointed out that Schiff and his party appear fixated on Trump even though Joe Biden has been president for most of the past year.
“Democrats are ignoring (the) real issues facing Americans today,” Comer said. “Instead, Democrats want to talk about former President Trump, even though a Democrat has occupied the White House for nearly a year.”