Friday, March 29, 2019

Brutal: At Opening of Another Hearing on Russia, Republicans Just Issued a Letter Directly to Adam Schiff Demanding His Resignation

By Katie Pavlich | Townhall

At the beginning of another House Intelligence Committee hearing about Russia Thursday morning, all nine Republican members submitted a letter for the record calling for Chairman Adam Schiff to step down.

"Since prior to the inauguration of President Trump in January 2017, you have been at the center of a well-orchestrated media campaign claiming, among other things, the Trump campaign colluded with the Russia government.

"Indeed, before the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, you alleged during one of your frequent television interviews that there was 'more than circumstantial evidence' of collusion but you could not 'go into particulars,'" the letter states.

"You continue to proclaim in the media that there is 'significant evidence of collusion.' You further states you 'will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. 

"That is the president or people around him comprised in any way by a hostile foreign power?' You willingness to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming."

"The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions," the letter continues.

"Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this Committee, which alone in the House of Representatives has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. intelligence community. 

"As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee."

The letter was signed by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes (Ranking Member), Michael Conaway, Michael Turner, Brad Wenstrup, Chis Stewart, Eric Crawford, Elise Stefanik, Will Hurd and John Ratcliffe. 

Even after Robert Mueller found no collusion during his two-year-long Special Counsel investigation, Schiff continues to shamelessly push the claim President Trump and members of his campaign colluded with Russians to win the 2016 election.



The Mueller Bitter Enders

By Kimberley A. Strassel | The Wall Street Journal

The special counsel wraps up his work and opens up another Democratic split.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell speaks in Manchester, N.H., Feb. 25. PHOTO: ELISE AMENDOLA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrats are struggling over the direction of their party, and this week things got more complicated. In addition to the splits over the Green Leap Forward, Medicare for All and constitutional rewrites, Robert Mueller’s report has opened a new divide. 

It’s Team Reality vs. Team Bitter Enders.

Granted, the end of the special counsel’s probe is a shattering blow to Trump haters. So long as Mr. Mueller continued his investigation, the left and its media mates were free to spin collusion claims and nurse hopes of a toppled Trump presidency. Anyone who pushed back was told to sit down, shut up and wait until Mr. Mueller ruled. He now has. The party is over.

Realists understand the risks of continuing to dwell on collusion and obstruction of justice. Americans are weary of Mueller headlines. In a CNN poll this month, respondents listed the economy, immigration and health care as their most important issues for 2020. No one listed the special-counsel probe.

The Democrats who are actually charged with electing more Democrats understand this. In a leadership meeting Monday night, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, laid out the alarming reality: Voters have little idea what the Democratic policy agenda is; the party urgently needs to move beyond 2016.

The realists also understand the Mueller probe has gained the party little up to now, beyond gratifying its base. While the resistance wallowed in collusion hysteria, Donald Trump presided over tax reform, massive deregulation and a remake of significant parts of the judiciary. He’s an incumbent presiding over a growing economy, with a campaign awash in money. 

A Politico story recently warned the left not to put much stock in approval ratings: “If the election were held today,” the reporters wrote, Mr. Trump would “likely ride to a second term in a huge landslide, according to multiple economic models with strong track records of picking presidential winners and losses.”

This is why Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided impeachment as “not worth it.” And it’s why she held another closed-door caucus meeting Tuesday, lecturing members on the need to stay focused on issues that helped Democrats in 2018. Her deputies, at least, got the message. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries didn’t even mention Mr. Mueller in his opening statement in an ensuing press conference. Majority Whip James Clyburn declared the Mueller chapter “closed.”

But the Bitter Enders are having none of it. Liberal pundits and TV hosts now accuse Attorney General Bill Barr of a “coverup,” and meditate on the cosmic meaning of “exoneration.” Former FBI Director James Comey claimed on NBC that the Mueller report was deficient. Liberal legal analysts explained that Mr. Trump is still guilty of all kinds of counterintelligence sins outside Mr. Mueller’s jurisdiction.

Mrs. Pelosi’s bigger problem is her members. Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib responded to the Mueller report by introducing a resolution for impeachment. California’s Eric Swalwell went on air to insist—no kidding—that the debunked Steele dossier was “factual.” 

Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff—in response to a call by every committee Republican for his resignation—doubled down on his irresponsible claims, arguing that there is clear “evidence” of collusion.

It would be one thing if the Bitter Enders were few or marginalized. But they make up a significant portion of the Democratic House majority. 

Hailing primarily from liberal districts, they need to worry not as much about re-election as about furious progressive activists, who for two years were promised conspiracy, obstruction and impeachment, and still demand it. The presidential candidates have a similar interest in whipping up those crowds with Trump-collusion talk.

Mr. Schiff, meanwhile, holds a powerful post, drives headlines, and has a reputational interest in carrying on. Chairmen Elijah Cummings and Jerry Nadler, of the Oversight and Judiciary committees respectively, are attempting to pursue broader investigations—of Trump finances or supposed corruption.

But one interesting legacy of the Mueller probe is that any investigation into Mr. Trump—no matter what the topic—may come across as more of the same. And Mrs. Pelosi has little ability to rein in these senior members.

Finally, there’s the media, which—after a humiliating week—has a self-interest in giving airtime to those who would diminish its atrocious performance. 

Mrs. Pelosi tried to change the subject this week to health care. A few reporters bit, but most of the headlines are still about Mr. Mueller. And think of all the forthcoming news hooks—the release of the report itself, the inspector general findings, the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation.

The question for reality-minded Democrats is how they put the Russia genie back in the bottle. It was supposed to spell the end of Mr. Trump. If they play their cards wrong, it could help him to re-election.