Sunday, January 15, 2023

Why Republicans Are Afraid of Rep. Adam Schiff

The new Speaker of the House is making it clear that he doesn't want Rep. Adam Schiff to continue serving on the House Intelligence Committee. 

I'll take just a moment to point out that McCarthy refers to Adam "Shift." Since that seems to be catching on in GOP circles, it's probably no simple slip of the tongue. 

The line about an impeachment lasting four years might just be a gaffe from McCarthy. It's true that Rep. Schiff was in charge of the first impeachment of Donald Trump (which lasted 1 1/2 months), but what McCarthy and his allies want to focus on is the idea that Russiagate was a hoax - and Schiff is the one to blame.

On Friday, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) took things a step further. He said that Republicans will complete an ethics investigation of Rep. Schiff - even as they continue to ignore the fraudulent serial liar in their midst - the one currently going by the name George Santos.

Why are Republicans so intent on going after Schiff? It's because, even before the Mueller investigation began, the congressman said that there was ample evidence that in 2016 the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government in their attempt to influence the election. He's still pointing to that evidence. Here's how Schiff summed it all up after the Mueller report was released:

That goes directly against the claims made by Trump and his enablers that Mueller found no collusion. But here's what the report by the special counsel actually said (emphasis mine). 
Collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law,” Mueller writes. “For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law.”

What Meuller did say was that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the Trump administration had been directly involved in a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government. That is because then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein limited Mueller to a criminal investigation. In doing so, he effectively ended the FBI's counterintelligence investigation - something Schiff noticed and talked about openly at the time.

Let's tie those two threads together, shall we? What does the difference between collusion and conspiracy have in common with the difference between a counterintelligence and a criminal investigation? Ryan Goodman answered by suggesting that, "as a shorthand, we may use the term 'collusion' to refer to these kinds of activities which would be implicated in a counterintelligence analysis" (ie, coordinate, cooperate with, encourage, give support). 

Goodman goes on the list all of the examples of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that Meuller documented. They mirror what Schiff identified in the Youtube video above. 

As a country, we have never really come to grips with the fact that a presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government in an attempt to influence the election in their favor. The Republicans have a vested interest in ensuring that we never do. Attempting to discredit and silence Adam Schiff is a major part of that effort.  

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