Adam Schiff Presents His ‘Evidence of Collusion’ – Rolling Stone
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Adam Schiff Presents His ‘Evidence of Collusion’

The House Intelligence Committee chairman and foe of President Trump delivered a fiery speech on Thursday morning

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., walks through the Hall of Columns at the Capitol as House Democratic chairs gather for a meeting with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., in WashingtonHouse Democrats, Washington, USA - 27 Mar 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., walks through the Hall of Columns at the Capitol

J Scott Applewhite/AP/REX/Shutterstock

No lawmaker has been more critical of President Trump’s relationship with Russia than Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). The House Intelligence Committee chairman has long claimed that plenty of evidence of collusion exists in plain sight, making him a frequent target of Trump’s Twitter tirades. So when Attorney General William Barr wrote on Sunday that the Mueller report “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” the president and his allies came down hard on Schiff. During a phone interview with Sean Hannity Wednesday night, Trump even implied that Schiff’s repeated exhortations about collusion could be considered criminal. “You can say it’s a crime,” Trump said.

Trump has also called for Schiff’s resignation, claiming Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report — which the New York Times reported on Thursday is over 300 pages long — proves that the Democrat knowingly lied about Trump’s unscrupulous relationship with Russia.

The GOP is following the president’s lead. On Thursday morning, every Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee called for Schiff to step down. In response, Schiff delivered a fiery address to the committee, reeling off evidence of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia.

“My colleagues might think it’s OK that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign,” he said. “My colleagues might think it’s OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help — no, instead that son said he would ‘love’ the help with the Russians. You might think it was ok that he took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that they concealed it from the public. You might think it’s ok that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think it’s OK. I don’t.”

He wasn’t done.

“You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility,” he added. “I don’t think that’s OK. You might think it’s OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks. You might think it’s OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say, in terms of dirt on his opponent. You might think it’s OK that the national security adviser-designate secretly conferred with a Russian ambassador about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s OK he lied about it to the FBI. You might say that’s all OK, that that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, I think it’s unpatriotic and, yes, I think it’s corrupt, and evidence of collusion.”

In other words, Special Counsel Mueller’s inability to prove a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in no way “exonerates” the president of any wrongdoing. The president’s wrongdoing has already been proven. A four-page letter to Congress written by an attorney general Trump appointed because his first attorney general wouldn’t do enough to undercut the investigation doesn’t nullify any of the examples Schiff listed on Thursday.

“I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK,” concluded Schiff. “The day we do think that’s OK is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.”

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