The Russian Collusion Narrative Is Over. Adam Schiff’s Time as Chairman Should Be, Too.
For over two years, Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, trumpeted false claims of collusion to anyone and everyone who would listen. Without fact and without merit, he claimed there was “clear evidence of collusion.” There was “evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion,” he crowed, and not just any evidence — “ample evidence” and “direct evidence.”
Naturally, Mr. Schiff couldn’t tell anyone what evidence existed to justify these wild allegations. When pressed about his allegations, he hid behind a veil of secrecy, claiming that he “could not go into particulars” because he was privy to very sensitive information. Trump colluded with Russia, he told the media, and you’re going to have to take my word for it because I know information other people don’t.
Schiff perpetrated the Russian Collusion delusion, the mainstream media lapped it up, and the Washington Swamp waited with bated breath for the Mueller Report to drop — thinking that it would finally prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that President Trump was a Russian asset.
But then the Special Counsel report summary was released, no criminal collusion was found, and Schiff was exposed as someone willing to mischaracterize top-secret intelligence for political gain.
If Adam Schiff was a pundit, he could be forgiven. Journalists make mistakes — after all, they don’t hold sensitive security clearances.
But Adam Schiff isn’t a journalist. He’s a congressman. More than that, he’s the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and a member of the “Gang of Eight” — a select group of Congressional leaders that receives America’s most sensitive intelligence, including information so secret they cannot even relay it to other Members of Congress.
To be entrusted with such sensitive data is a great obligation, and requires honesty, integrity, and discretion.
Unfortunately, Adam Schiff has misused his access to America’s secrets. Rather than investigating the real and pervasive surveillance abuses of the Trump campaign — rightly termed “Spygate” by President Trump — Chairman Schiff instead became the Chicken Little of Russian Collusion.
We know that Special Counsel Robert Mueller left no stone unturned in his investigation. Mueller was happy to prosecute anyone he could, for any reason — including decades-old crimes that had nothing to do with the 2016 election. Mueller was out for blood, and you can bet that if there had been any sort of unlawful collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Mueller would have found it.
But Mueller found nothing — because “Russian collusion” never existed to begin with.
Adam Schiff knew there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but kept the fiction alive, peppering the media with wild and baseless accusations, and keeping “official Washington” in a rapturous anti-Trump frenzy for nearly two years.
On March 28, 2019, every Republican member of HPSCI signed a letter asking Adam Schiff to resign his chairmanship. He has lost the confidence of his committee and, more importantly, he has lost the faith of the American people. He misused his power to spread blatantly salacious and untrue gossip against the President of the United States.
If Rep. Schiff doesn’t like President Trump, so be it. But using his institutional power to force a constitutional crisis — an investigation on false grounds leading to an impeachment on false charges — is diabolical.
The “collusion” narrative has ended. So too should Mr. Schiff’s time as Chairman. Schiff should admit he was wrong, and step down. But since he has shown no inclination to do so, I have introduced the PENCIL Act (Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses), which, if enacted, would remove Rep. Schiff from the Intelligence Committee and revoke his security clearance. He can no longer be trusted in his position.
It’s time for the Intelligence Committee to have a clean slate, and that’s only possible with a new chairman.