Trump Attacks Adam Schiff, Democrats Over Investigations - Rolling Stone
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Trump Has Already Set Fire to His Dream for ‘Unity’

The president is lashing out at Democrats less than two days after calling for bipartisanship during the State of the Union address

President Donald Trump gestures as a conductor as people in the chamber sing "Happy Birthday" to Judah Samet as he delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, . Same turned 81 on TuesdayState of Union, Washington, USA - 05 Feb 2019

President Donald Trump gestures as a conductor as people in the chamber sing "Happy Birthday" to Judah Samet as he delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night was supposed to be about unity. Instead, it might have been the most divisive speech of his time in office. Trump tried, though. Kind of. “Together we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make,” he said before insinuating that anyone who seeks to investigate him, opposes a border wall or disagrees with his policy positions is un-American.

Trump has had a hard time taking his own advice about forging new solutions. On Thursday morning, he lashed out at Democrats, particularly Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the new chair of the House Intelligence Committee who on Wednesday announced he would lead a broader-than-expected investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia. Several other committees prepared to take action, as well, including the House Judiciary Committee, which is ready to subpoena acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker if he refuses to answer the committee’s questions about the president. A subpoena for Trump’s tax returns could also be forthcoming.

“Unlimited Presidential Harassment,” Trump tweeted. “The Dems and their committees are going ‘nuts.’ The Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government.”

“Presidential Harassment” is, of course, nothing more than a term Trump made up to describe what he believes is unfair treatment from Democrats and the media. The “Republicans never did this to Obama” because Obama wasn’t simultaneously at the center of several independent federal investigations, nor was a significant portion of his inner circle indicted for cavorting with foreign adversaries and lying about it. In reality, there is so much circumstantial evidence to suggest criminality that it would be a dereliction of Schiff’s duty not to investigate. Same goes for the heads of the other congressional committees. “It’s our congressional responsibility, and if we didn’t do it, we would be delinquent in that,” Pelosi said Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

No one has been as eager to exercise his newfound authority as Schiff, who for two years watched as his predecessor Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) did all he could to hamstring the House Intelligence Committee’s investigations into the president. On Wednesday, Schiff announced that the committee will launch a multi-pronged investigation looking into Russian meddling in the U.S. political process; whether Russia holds leverage over Trump; coordination between the Russian government “and individuals associated with [Trump’s] campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests”; and more.

“As Chairman of the Committee, I am committed to leading a thorough and impartial investigation that will follow the facts, and I hope that our Minority counterparts will join us in that effort,” Schiff wrote. “Congress has a duty to expose foreign interference, hold Russia to account, ensure that U.S. officials — including the President — are serving the national interest and, if not, are held accountable.”

After the investigation was announced, Trump called Schiff a “political hack” who is “trying to build a name for himself.”

“I can understand why the idea of meaningful oversight terrifies the President,” Schiff tweeted in response. “Several of his close associates are going to jail, others await trial, and criminal investigations continue. We’re going to do our job and won’t be distracted or intimidated by threats or attacks.”

The president’s post-State of the Union partisanship hasn’t been limited to bashing the Democrats investigating him, either. On Wednesday morning, he found a way to turn the blackface and sexual assault sandals rocking the Virginia legislature into a partisan issue, arguing that if the lawmakers involved were Republican they would be facing “far stronger action.” Almost every prominent national Democrat has called for Governor Ralph Northam to resign, and none have expressed support for Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax since his accuser released a statement detailing her assault.

When longtime Trump ally Rep. Steve King (R-IA) got caught with his hand in the racism jar last month — telling the Times that he doesn’t understand why the terms “white supremacy” and “white nationalism” are offensive — the president refused to comment.

In This Article: Donald Trump

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