WASHINGTON – Don’t expect Adam Schiff to heed Donald Trump’s call for him to resign.
Instead, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told the president and other Republicans on Thursday he would continue to pursue contacts between the president’s campaign and Russians during the 2016 election, calling it “corrupt and evidence of collusion.”
Earlier, Trump became the latest Republican to denounce Schiff in the wake of news that special counsel Robert Mueller would not formally accuse Trump of wrongdoing in the Russia case.
“Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” Trump tweeted.
During a hearing of his committee hours later, Schiff cited evidence ranging from a meeting between Trump aides and Russians who offered “dirt” on opponent Hillary Clinton, to lying by Trump and his associates over various contacts with the Russians.
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“You might say that’s all OK,” Schiff told Republican colleagues who demanded that he at least resign his chairmanship. “I think it’s unpatriotic. And yes, I think it’s corrupt and evidence of collusion.”
While Mueller struck an equivocal tone about obstruction of justice allegations, Trump claimed vindication and indicated he would campaign against Democrats who promoted the idea he had worked with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
Schiff and other Democrats noted that the Mueller report itself is not out, only a summary provided by Attorney General William Barr. They also said that, with respect to the obstruction of justice investigation, Barr quoted Mueller as saying, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Trump’s critics found irony in the president’s attacks on Schiff, especially his accusations of lying.
In retweeting Trump, attorney George Conway – the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway – said: “I mean, if there were a Lombardi Trophy for lying, a Pulitzer Prize for prevarication, a FIFA World Cup for fibbing, a Medal of Honor for mendacity, a Distinguished Service Cross for deceit, *you* would be the perennial winner.”