By Dorothy Li
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) unveiled a resolution Wednesday seeking to expel Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) from Congress, as she alleges that Schiff played a decisive role in pushing the narrative of former president Donald Trump’s colluding with Russia.
Luna’s resolution comes just days after a report (pdf) by special counsel John Durham revealed massive failures and deficiencies in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
“Adam Schiff lied to the American people,” Luna stated in a press release. “He used his position on House Intelligence to push a lie that cost American taxpayers millions of dollars and abused the trust placed in him as Chairman. He is a dishonor to the House of Representatives.”
“Knowingly using your position on House Intel to push a lie that ripped apart our country, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and authorized spying on a US President and then proceeding to double down on the lie within days of the Durham report coming out makes you unfit for office,” she posted on May 17 on Twitter. “Ethics should investigate.”
The Florida Republican also posted a photo of her motion.
Schiff was the leading voice among Democrats claiming that Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
During a December 2017 appearance on CNN, Schiff said, “The Russians offered help; the campaign accepted help. The Russians gave help and the president made full use of that help. That is pretty damning, whether it is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiracy or not.”
But in 2019, after a 22-month investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. That sparked GOP calls on Schiff to step down from his post as chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Then-president Trump also issued a message calling for Schiff’s resignation.
Schiff remained defiant on Tuesday, repeating his assertion about “secret meetings” between Trump’s campaign manager and a Russian intelligence agent.
Asked by The Epoch Times about the conclusion of special counsel John Durham’s report, namely that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Schiff said: “If you read Mr. Durham’s report, what he said is that there wasn’t evidence of collusion before they began the investigation. That’s obviously a very important distinction.”
Schiff insisted that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort provided a Russian intelligence agent with “internal polling data with their strategy for key battleground states, while that unit of Russian intelligence was engaged in trying to help Donald Trump win.”
For “most Americans that looks like plain collusion,” he said.
Schiff’s comment came after Durham concluded a three-year-long examination of the FBI’s investigation of the 2016 presidential election, and reported that the agency’s investigation into Trump’s campaign had no basis in evidence.
Released on May 15, Durham’s 300-page report (pdf) specifically stated that the FBI’s senior analyst on Russian intelligence didn’t see collusion evidence regarding Manafort.
“The FBI Intelligence Analyst who had perhaps the most in-depth knowledge of particularly sensitive Russian intelligence information in FBI holdings during the relevant time period disclosed that she never saw anything regarding any Trump election campaign conspiracy with the Russians, nor did she see anything in FBI holdings regarding Carter Page, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, or Paul Manafort engaging in any type of conspiracy with the Russians regarding the election,” Durham stated in the report.
On Wednesday evening, Luna’s statement accused Schiff of pushing a lie to the American people that had cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and said Schiff was a dishonor to the House.
Within half an hour, Schiff fired back, saying Republicans now “want payback.”
“A MAGA Republican Member of Congress just filed a motion to expel me from the U.S. House of Representatives,” Schiff posted on Twitter on May 18, in reference to Luna. Schiff is running for the U.S. Senate to replace the retiring Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
“I stood up to Donald Trump and held extreme MAGA forces accountable. Now they want payback. They’ll go after anyone who defends the rule of law.”