Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who featured so prominently in the Russia collusion probe as well as the impeachment inquiry, just made a shocking allegation.
The Washington Examiner reports that Schiff is now accusing Republicans of “boycotting” briefings held by the House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs.
Schiff slams briefing “boycott”
Schiff made the claim Monday during an interview on MSNBC.
“At the moment, the Republicans are boycotting the briefings that we are doing,” the congressman said.
One of the briefings to which Schiff was referring is scheduled to be held Tuesday, and its subject is the recent allegation that Russia offered money to members of the Taliban willing to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan and that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the matter but took no action. But, according to Schiff, it seems unlikely that Republican members will attend.
“They have been [boycotting], yes, and we’re not quite sure why,” Schiff said after host Chris Hayes asked him to confirm that Republicans were indeed steering clear of the briefings. “They don’t have much of an explanation for it,” the Intel Committee chair added.
Among the various problems with what Schiff had to say was that, as usual, it was not entirely true. Republicans are indeed sitting out Schiff’s briefings, but they have provided an explanation for the move. Schiff was forced to acknowledge this fact himself after Hayes inquired why his GOP colleagues would be conducting a boycott if they haven’t articulated any demands, saying:
Now, I saw one of the members try to explain that they don’t think that it’s secure enough, but these briefings are unclassified material. In fact, some of these briefings are open hearings, and they’re still not even attending even the open hearings for the public. So, I’m not sure how to explain it. I think it’s very childish.
Republicans cite lax security
GOP lawmakers responded to Schiff’s accusation through Jack Langer, communications director for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Intelligence Committee’s ranking member.
“Republicans believe a committee that handles our nation’s most sensitive secrets should not be conducting its business in open hearings staged in an unsecured manner over the internet,” Langer said.
Indeed, national security risks have been cited as a serious concern, but so has Schiff’s leadership on a host of other issues, from the Mueller probe to impeachment.
So, yes, the Republicans are boycotting proceedings in Intelligence Committee, and they are doing so for good reason.
But, it ought to be noted that Republicans on the committee are still doing their jobs, with Nunes recently announcing a whole host of criminal referrals to the Department of Justice related to the Russia collusion investigation, as the Washington Examiner notes. Contrast that with what Schiff and the Democrats on the panel have done in recent months — nothing.