Dem Rep Adam Schiff was hit with an ethics complaint by the Center for Renewing America over his repeated and false claims for years that he had evidence Trump was a stooge for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The complaint says: “The Center for Renewing America hereby requests that the Office of Congressional Ethics and/or Committee on Ethics expeditiously investigate the matters detailed herein and impose appropriate disciplinary and remedial action, up to and including expulsion of Rep. Adam Schiff (“Schiff”) from the U.S. House of Representatives (“House”).
“In January 2023, Speaker Kevin McCarthy rightly refused to appoint Schiff to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), given Schiff’s misuse of HPSCI and resultant undermining of its national security and oversight missions while serving as chair of that committee during the 116th and 117th Congress.
“On May 15, 2023, Special Counsel John Durham released a 300-page report on matters arising from the 2016 election (Durham Report). The Durham Report detailed how the Clinton campaign concocted false allegations regarding supposed “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“These baseless claims were funneled to credulous media outlets, the intelligence community, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which opened an investigation despite possessing NO evidence of collusion.
“According to CNN, “Special Counsel John Durham conclude[d] [that the] FBI never should have launched [the] full Trump-Russia probe.”
“The Clinton campaign’s fabricated collusion narrative has had no greater champion than Schiff, whose dedication to perpetuating the Russia Hoax without regard for the truth repeatedly violated the requirement, in clause 1 of House Rule XXIII, that “[a] Member . . . of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”
“Examples of such violations include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
“On March 20, 2017, Schiff read into the congressional record significant portions of the salacious and unverified Steele Dossier. The Durham Report confirmed that former British spy Christopher Steele was unable to corroborate any of the substantive allegations in the dossier, “even after being offered $1 million or more by the FBI for such corroboration.” Even Steele’s primary sub-source, a Russian national, characterized the information he provided to Steele as “rumor and speculation.”
“However, Schiff’s action gave the obviously false allegations in the dodgy dossier an undeserved veneer of legitimacy.
“On March 22, 2017, Schiff claimed in a television interview he had seen “more than circumstantial evidence now” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to former New York Times investigative reporter Jeff Gerth, Schiff “offered no substantiation” for his claim.
“As confirmed by numerous subsequent investigations, including the Durham Report, no such evidence has emerged. However, Schiff abused his privileged position on HPSCI to mislead the American public.
“On or about April 4, 2017, Schiff solicited naked pictures of President Trump from two Russian pranksters posing as Ukrainian parliamentarians.
“Schiff’s subsequent claim that he reported the call to the proper authorities is inconsistent with his actions, which do not reflect creditably on the House; records published in February 2018 show that Schiff directed his staff to pick up materials promised by the pranksters from the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
“In February 2018, Schiff publicly released a declassified version of a January 29, 2018, document widely known as the Schiff Memo.
“The Schiff Memo vigorously defended the decision by the Department of Justice and FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance of Carter Page.
“Among other claims, the Schiff Memo maintained that “FBI and DOJ did not ‘abuse the . . . FISA process [or] omit material information” and “would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page . . . .”
“As a former federal prosecutor and longtime member of HPSCI, Schiff could not have reasonably drawn these conclusions from the underlying facts. Indeed, DOJ’s Inspector General subsequently identified no fewer than 17 significant errors in the Page FISA applications.
“As Gerth noted for the Columbia Journalism Review, “[e]ventually the FBI declared that at least two of the four applications were no longer valid. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) found that all four applications had ‘violations of the government’s duty of candor.’”
“Once again, however, Schiff misled the American public based on his privileged access to classified information.
“The Durham Report also details how, as summarized in a subsequent news report:
“Staffers for Democratic congressman Adam Schiff . . . threatened two university researchers to force them to help with an investigation into former president Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, the researchers told Special Counsel John Durham.
“The researchers, from Georgia Tech University, told Durham that they were invited to Washington, D.C., in November 2018 to provide what they thought was a briefing about the school’s federal research contracts.
“Instead, they were lured into a meeting with staff members working for Schiff at the House Intelligence Committee and for [Senator Jack] Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The researchers said the Democratic staffers asked them to analyze . . . alleged links between Trump’s company and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
“When they balked at the request because it was “inappropriate” conduct for a public university, the Democratic staffers issued what one researcher believed was a “mild threat.” . . . [A] staffer for Schiff pointed out the Democrat would soon take over as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, one researcher told Durham.
“Although Durham declined to prosecute potential “contract fraud or abuse of government resources,” the statements of HPSCI staffers—which invoked the authority of, and were likely directed by, Schiff—clearly violate the law.
“Specifically, 5 U.S.C. § 7353(a) prohibits congressional members or employees from “solicit[ing] anything of value from a person—(1) seeking official action from, doing business with, or . . . conducting activities regulated by, the individual’s employing entity; or (2) whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the individual’s official duties.” As the Committee on Ethics’ “Gift Guidance” succinctly notes, congressional members and staff may “not ask for a gift. . .”
“In this case, HPSCI staffers working for Schiff sought something of value (uncompensated analysis) from people (university researchers) whose interests (government-funded research contracts) could have been affected by the performance or nonperformance of the staffers’ official duties.
“Schiff’s pernicious pattern of engaging in behavior that discredits the House, in further violation of Rule XXIII, has extended well beyond the Russia Hoax. For example:
“In October 2019, the Washington Post analyzed Schiff’s public statement that HPSCI had “not spoken directly with the whistleblower” whose allegations instigated the first impeachment of President Trump. The Post concluded that “Schiff . . . clearly made a statement that was false.”
“In September 2020, Schiff responded to a report from two U.S. Senate committees concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings as follows: “With the release of this report and two Senate Committee Chairs promoting the same Russian disinformation, the Kremlin must be very pleased,” the complaint says.