* Democratic Member of the House of Representatives
* The lead investigator of the Democratic Party’s 2019 impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump
Adam Bennett Schiff was born to Jewish parents in Framingham, Massachusetts on June 22, 1960. After moving with his family to Danville, California during his high-school years, he went on to earn a BA in political science from Stanford University in 1982, and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1985. Upon completing his formal education, Schiff took a job as a law clerk for Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He then served from 1987-93 as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
Schiff tried to launch a political career in May 1994, when he ran as a Democrat in a special election to determine who would serve out the remaining few months of California State Assemblyman Pat Nolan’s term, after Nolan had been incarcerated for political corruption. But Schiff was defeated by Republican nominee James Rogan. That November, in the regular election for a full two-year term in the State Assembly, Schiff again lost to Rogan.
Elected to the California State Senate
In 1996 Schiff was elected to represent the 21st District in the California State Senate, where he served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Schiff Receives Fellowship Financed by George Soros and his Open Society Foundations
In 1997 Schiff received a Henry Toll Fellowship for “leadership development.” Sponsored by the Council of State Governments (CSG), this award has long been heavily financed by the billionaire philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Foundations (OSF). For instance, OSF gave $320,000 to CSG in 2003, and another $1.1 million in 2004.
Elected Repeatedly to the U.S. House of Representatives
In 2000, Schiff was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by the voters in California’s 27th Congressional District, centered in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. His campaign recieved more than $100,000 in donations from the Soros-funded MoveOn.org. Other key supporters of Schiff’s campaign included the Council for a Livable World and the J Street Political Action Committee.
Schiff has been re-elected to the U.S. House every two years since then, though his District has been renumbered and reconfigured twice. Since 2013, it has been known as the 28th District of California.
Urged Obama to Award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Fred Ross Sr.
In early 2013, Schiff was one of dozens of prominent leftists who urged President Barack Obama to award, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late Fred Ross Sr., a Saul Alinsky-trained radical who had mentored both Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta.
Praise for CAIR
On a number of occasions, Schiff has shown an affinity for radical Islamist organizations. In September 2013, for example, he stated that the good work done “across the nation” by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was “much appreciated.” In a similar spirit, Schiff said in October 2017 that “CAIR’s vision and mission is more important now than ever before – to be a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding, and [to] enhance understanding of Islam.” And on August 5, 2019, Schiff was a featured presenter at an interfaith community forum moderated by Salam Al-Marayati and co-sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Co-Sponsor of a Bill “Condemning Violence, Bigotry, and Hateful Rhetoric Towards Muslims in the United States”
In 2015 Schiff co-sponsored House Resolution 569, which was introduced by Rep. Don Beyer and was titled “Condemning Violence, Bigotry, and Hateful Rhetoric Towards Muslims in the United States.” Founded upon unsourced claims that America was experiencing a “rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance,” this Resolution denounced the “disproportionate targeting” of “Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing.”
Schiff Lies Repeatedly to Promote the Trump-Russia “Collusion” Hoax
In early February 2017, Schiff tried to promote the narrative that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, prior to Trump’s inauguration, may have violated the Logan Act by seeking, during a phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, to undercut then-President Obama’s existing sanctions against Russia. In its February 14, 2017 issue, The Atlantic magazine quoted Schiff saying: “Trump’s team, through Flynn, reaches out to the Russian ambassador and potentially says, ‘Don’t worry about those sanctions. We’re going to take care of business. We’re not going to bite the hand that fed us.’ That’s something that needs to be investigated. That’s hugely consequential.” But as investigative reporter John Solomon subsequently noted:
“By the time Schiff uttered those words, the FBI agent who had investigated Flynn’s contacts with Russia had already concluded on Jan. 4, 2017 that there was ‘no derogatory information’ about Flynn’s contacts and recommended closing down the case, according to recently declassified FBI memos. And … the FBI had informed DOJ by late January 2017 that Flynn was not acting as an agent of Russia. Likewise, the main prosecutor for national security cases inside the Justice Department, Mary McCord, and others thought prosecuting Flynn under the Logan Act was unlikely or a ‘long shot’ after reading Flynn’s actual words from a transcript of his conversation with the Russian ambassador [which had been secretly recorded by U.S. intelligence agents]…. And a top FBI official’s handwritten notes expressed concern the bureau’s treatment of Flynn amounted to ‘playing games’ and appeared to involve an effort to get him into an interview where he might [lie] so he could prosecuted or fired.”
In a March 22, 2017 interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Schiff claimed there was “more than circumstantial evidence” that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign had colluded with Russian government operatives to tilt the election in his favor. When Todd asked Schiff if he had “seen direct evidence of collusion,” the congressman replied: “I don’t want to go into specifics, but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of investigation, so that is what we ought to do.” From that point forward, Schiff established himself as one of the Democrat Party’s leading voices demanding Trump’s impeachment, repeatedly proclaiming to the media that the evidence against the president was overwhelming. For example:
- In a November 15, 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Schiff said the following about the so-called Steele dossier, a document containing numerous false allegations suggesting that Trump and his campaign had actively colluded with the Russian government to tilt the 2016 election in Trump’s favor: “The bigger factor is how much of it can you corroborate and how much of it is true. A lot of it has turned out to be true.” (But by the time Schiff made that remark, the FBI had already flagged significant errors or contradictions in the dossier, and former FBI Director James Comey had publicly conceded that the dossier contained “salacious and unverified material” as well as several known errors.)
- In December 2017, Schiff told CNN: “The Russians offered help, the [Trump] 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.”
- And in May 2018, Schiff told ABC that the Russian trolling of Democratic National Committee emails was “like Watergate in the sense that you had a break in at the Democratic headquarters, in this case a virtual one, not a physical break in, and you had a president as part of a cover up.” Schiff subsequently said that Trump’s crime was of “a size and scope probably beyond Watergate.”
For a video montage of numerous additional occasions when Schiff publicly stated that there was compelling evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, click here.
On January 29, 2018, Schiff issued a Democratic memo on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. That memo contained numerous false claims. Below, as catalogued by investigative journalist John Solomon, are some examples of those falsehoods, followed by facts that were later declassified and that contradicted the claims in the Schiff memo:
False Claim #1: “FBI and DOJ officials did not abuse the FISA process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign. … DOJ met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis needed to meet FISA’s probable cause requirement.”
Declassified Facts: Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 11, 2019, “I do not think the Department of Justice fairly treated these FISAs.” His report described how the FBI had violated its own rules in submitting four FISA applications with a total of 51 pieces of unverified, inaccurate or false information. “FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are ‘scrupulously accurate,’” he wrote. “We identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation.”
False Claim #2: DOJ and FBI officials “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.”
Declassified Facts: Horowitz concluded that the Steele dossier had “played a central and essential role” in the FISA application. “The FISA request form drew almost entirely from Steele’s reporting in describing the factual basis to establish probable cause to believe that Page was an agent of a foreign power,” wrote Horowitz.
False Claim #3: “DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting.”
Declassified Facts: “We found that the FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reporting when it relied upon his reports in the first FISA application or subsequent renewal applications,” Horowitz reported in December 2019.
John Solomon has pointed out yet another monumentally significant fact vis-a-vis the false statements that Schiff knowingly made:
“One of the revelations that most undercuts Schiff’s early embrace of the Steele dossier came … when footnotes declassified from the [December 2019] Horowitz report showed the U.S. intelligence community first warned that Steele was susceptible to Russian disinformation starting in 2015 and by early 2017 had specific information in his dossier traced to Russian Intelligence Services (RIS).
“’We identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from [REDACTED] indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting,’ Horowitz wrote in one explosive footnote. ‘A January 12, 2017, report relayed information from [REDACTED] outlining an inaccuracy in a limited subset of Steele’s reporting about the activities of Michael Cohen. The [REDACTED] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele’s reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.’
“’A second report from the same [REDACTED] five days later stated that a person named in the limited subset of Steele’s reporting had denied representations in the reporting and the [REDACTED] assessed that the person’s denials were truthful,’ the footnote added. ‘A USIC report dated February 27, 2017, contained information about an individual with reported connections to Trump and Russia who claimed that the public reporting about the details of Trump’s sexual activities in Moscow during a trip in 2013 were false, and that they were the product of RIS ‘infiltrating a source into the network’ of Steele.”
When Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally released his exhaustive 448-page report on the Trump-Russia matter in April 2019, Schiff’s many claims about Trump’s undeniable guilt were all shown to be baseless and false.
On May 7, 2020, the full scope of Schiff’s lies about Trump-Russia “collusion” was further laid bare. On that date, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was forced to release 57 pages of transcripts of testimony that had been delivered to the Committee in closed-door hearings during 2017-18 about the “collusion” matter. In those hearings, top Obama officials were questioned in sworn testimony, under oath, over whether they were in possession of, or had seen any, evidence of collusion, coordination or conspiracy between Trump and Russia. Some noteworthy quotes from those transcripts:
- James Clapper, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, said: “I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting [or] conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.”
- Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said: “I am not in possession of anything—I am not in possession and didn’t read or absorb information that came from out of the intelligence community.” When she was asked again, Power reiterated: “I am not.”
- Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice said: “To the best of my recollection, there wasn’t anything smoking, but there were some things that gave me pause. I don’t recall intelligence that I would consider evidence to that effect that I saw … conspiracy prior to my departure.” When asked whether she had any evidence of “coordination,” Rice replied: “I don’t recall any intelligence or evidence to that effect.” When asked about collusion, Rice said: “Same answer.”
- Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said: “I wouldn’t have received any information on any criminal or counterintelligence investigations into what the Trump campaign was doing, so I would not have seen that information.” When pressed again on the matter, Rhodes replied: “I saw indications of potential coordination, but I did not see, you know, the specific evidence of the actions of the Trump campaign.”
- Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch said: “I do not recall that [evidence of collusion] being briefed up to me. I can’t say that it existed or not.”
- Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was asked in his 2017 interview about the accuracy and legitimacy of the anti-Trump dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. When asked to identify what was the most “damning or important piece of evidence in the dossier that” he “now knows is true,” McCabe answered: “We have not been able to prove the accuracy of all the information.” “You don’t know if it’s true or not?” a House investigator asked, to which McCabe replied: “That’s correct.”
- In her sworn testimony of June 26, 2017, Obama Defense Department official Evelyn Farkas, who had who left the federal government in 2015, had the following exchange with Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy regarding what she “knew” about collusion:
GOWDY: “Why don’t we go back to that sentence that I just asked you about. It says ‘the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their staff dealing with Russians.’ Well, how would you know what the U.S. government knew at that point? You didn’t work for it anymore], did you?”
FARKAS: “I didn’t.”
GOWDY: “Then how did you know?”
FARKAS: “I didn’t know anything.”
GOWDY: “Did you have information connecting the Trump campaign to the hack of the DNC?”
FARKAS: “No.” […]
GOWDY: “So when you say, ‘We knew,’ the reality is you knew nothing.”
GOWDY: “So when you say ‘knew,’ what you really meant was felt?”
GOWDY: “You didn’t know anything?”
FARKAS: “That’s correct.”
Throughout 2017-20, Schiff was fully aware of the fact that each of the aforementioned witnesses had clearly acknowledged that they possessed no evidence whatsoever of any Trump-Russia collusion. Yet Schiff continued to tell the media unequivocally that he had hard evidence of such collusion.
On May 12, 2020, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece that, based upon the aforementioned documents that the House Intelligence Committee had released five days earlier, denounced Schiff as a proven, habitual liar. Some excerpts:
“Newly released Congressional testimony shows that Adam Schiff spread falsehoods shamelessly about Russia and Donald Trump for three years even as his own committee gathered contrary evidence.
“The House Intelligence Committee last week released 57 transcripts of interviews it conducted in its investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. The committee probe started in January 2017 under then-Chair Devin Nunes and concluded in March 2018 with a report finding no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin. Most of the transcripts were ready for release long ago, but Mr. Schiff oddly refused to release them after he became chairman in 2019. He only released them last week when the White House threatened to do it first.
“Now we know why. From the earliest days of the collusion narrative, Mr. Schiff insisted that he had evidence proving the plot. In March 2017 on MSNBC, Mr. Schiff teased that he couldn’t ‘go into particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.’ In December 2017 he told CNN that collusion was a fact: ‘The Russians offered help, the campaign accepted help. The Russians gave help and the President made full use of that help.’ […] “None of this was true, and Mr. Schiff knew it. […]
“On it went, a parade of former Obama officials who declared under oath they’d seen no evidence of collusion or conspiracy—Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Samantha Power. Interviews with Trump campaign or Administration officials also yielded no collusion evidence. Mr. Schiff had access to these transcripts even as he claimed he had ‘ample’ proof of collusion and wrote his false report.
“He’s still making it up. Last week he said the transcripts contain ‘evidence of the Trump campaign’s efforts to invite, make use of, and cover up Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential election.’ […] No one should ever believe another word he says.”
Schiff Falls for Prank Phone Call from Russian Radio Host Posing As a Ukrainian Politician with Political Dirt on President Trump
On April 10, 2017, Russian radio hosts Vladimir Kuznetzov and Alexey Stolyarov — both of whom had close ties to the Kremlin — made a prank phone call to Schiff in which they together posed as Andriy Parubiy, the former speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, and offered to provide the congressman with damaging information about President Trump. Specifically, they claimed that Trump, while in Moscow for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, had engaged in a brief sexual affair with Russian model and singer Olga Buzova. “She got compromising materials on Trump after their short relations,” the callers told Schiff,
When Schiff then asked “what’s the nature” of the materials, the callers stated that the Kremlin was in possession of photos of a naked Trump as well as audio recordings of Miss Buzova and Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak, whom they identified as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goddaughter, discussing the pictures. The pranksters also told Schiff that former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn had met with another Russian singer, Arkadiy Ukupnik, in a Brooklyn cafe to discuss the importance of keeping the aforementioned materials from being made public. “On that meeting, Ukupnik told Flynn that all those compromising materials will never be released if Trump will cancel all the Russian sanctions,” the caller told Schiff, noting also that Mr. Putin was fully aware of the entire scandal.
“So, you have recordings of both Sobchak and Buzova where they’re discussing the compromising material on Mr. Trump?” Schiff asked the callers. “Absolutely,” one of them replied. Schiff and the fake “Parubiy” went on to discuss numerous additional details of the fraudulent allegations, with Schiff asking a number of probing questions and expressing great interest. “Well, obviously we would welcome a chance to get copies of those recordings,” said the congressman, adding that he would not only “be in touch with the FBI about this,” but would also make the information known to the congressional committee that was investigating Trump’s alleged transgressions.
The recording of Schiff’s call with the pranksters was not discovered until Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz became aware of it in September 2019. (To listen to the conversation, click here.)
Schiff, Ukraine, and an Impeachment Inquiry Against President Trump
In May 2017, Schiff was one of a number of prominent and influential Democrats who spoke at a Washington, D.C. “ideas conference” organized by the Center for American Progress. This event emphasized the need for Democrats to unite in uncompromising “resistance” against Trump while also developing “new, fresh, bold, provocative ideas that can move us forward.”
On November 16, 2018, Schiff – who was slated to become Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on January 3, 2019 – gave an exclusive, closed-door briefing to members of the Democracy Alliance, a major group of wealthy Democrat funders who were, among other things, passionately dedicated to goal of crippling the Trump presidency.
On August 12, 2019, an unidentified, so-called “whistleblower” from the CIA filed a complaint in which he expressed his own “urgent concern” regarding a July 25, 2019 phone conversation between President Trump and Ukraine’s newly elected President, Volodymyr Zelensky. According to this informant – whom journalist Paul Sperry subsequently identified as 33-year-old Eric Ciaramella – Trump on July 25th had asked Zelensky to investigate why Ukraine in 2016, under pressure from then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, had fired its Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin. At issue was the fact that Shokin in 2016 had been actively investigating corruption by Burisma Holdings – a Ukrainian natural gas company whose board of directors included Mr. Biden’s son. According to Schiff and other opponents of President Trump, Ciaramella’s complaint provided evidence that Trump – as a precondition to America’s disbursement of nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine – was now trying to pressure Zelensky to dig up political dirt on the Bidens. Ciaramella’s claim, which was based entirely on hearsay rather than firsthand observation, was quickly discredited when Trump publicly released a summary transcript of his July 25 dialog with Zelensky. Nevertheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Democrats would initiate an impeachment inquiry against the President. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff would be the lead investigator.
For details about Ciaramella’s complaint, and about the testimony of the various impeachment-hearing witnesses, click here.
Schiff initially told reporters that he had not spoken directly with the whistleblower prior to the latter’s filing of his August 12 complaint. But the congressman’s claim was subsequently proven false by a New York Times story showing that Schiff actually had known about Ciaramella’s allegations before the complaint was even filed.
When the whistleblower allegations against Trump first came to light, Thomas Eager, a staffer for Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee, was also active as a Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Congressional Fellowship. The Atlanta Council is a think tank that has been funded variously by such entities as Burisma Holdings (the Ukrainian natural gas company on whose board Vice President Biden’s son had sat), Google LLC, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the U.S. State Department, and the international law firm Perkins Coie.
- NOTE: In 2016, Perkins Coie retained the research and strategic-intelligence firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS, in turn, hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to compile a dossier of allegations suggesting that Trump and his campaign had actively colluded with the Russian government to tilt the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. This opposition research/dossier was funded by three major sources: (a) Obama For America (OFA), Barack Obama’s official campaign arm, which paid Perkins Coie nearly $800,000 for “legal services” in 2016; (b) Hillary Clinton’s official campaign organization, Hillary For America, which paid just under $5.1 million to Perkins Coie in 2016; and (c) the Democratic National Committee, which paid nearly $5.4 million to Perkins Coie in 2016.
Yet another noteworthy Schiff staffer, Sean Misko, had joined Schiff’s office at the House Intelligence Committee on July 26, 2019 – seventeen days before his close friend, Eric Ciaramella, filed his complaint against Trump. Like Thomas Eager, Misko also had ties to the Atlantic Council, where he had served as a yearlong “Millennium Fellow” in 2015. Moreover, Misko had donated money to the Atlantic Council in 2016. And prior to taking his job in Schiff’s office, Misko had worked in the Obama-era State Department under Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan.
When addressing the House Intelligence Committee on September 27, 2019, Schiff grossly misrepresented the substance and tenor of President Trump’s July 25 conversation with Zelensky. After announcing that he intended to outline “the essence” of what Trump had communicated to Zelensky in that conversation, the congressman proceeded to blur the lines between words he was quoting directly from the transcript of Trump’s remarks, and words that represented Schiff’s own analysis or commentary. The net effect of this, was to depict Trump as the political equivalent of a mafia kingpin. Some key excerpts from Schiff’s statement:
“President Zelensky, eager to establish himself at home as the friend of the president of the most powerful nation on earth, had at least two objectives: get a meeting with the president and get more military help. And so what happened on that call? Zelensky begins by ingratiating himself, and he tries to enlist the support of the president. He expresses his interest in meeting with the president, and says his country wants to acquire more weapons from us to defend itself. And what is the President’s response?
“Well, it reads like a classic organized crime shakedown. Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the President communicates: We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though. And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent. Understand? Lots of it, on this and on that. I’m going to put you in touch with people, and not just any people. I’m going to put you in touch with the attorney general of the United States, my attorney general, Bill Barr. He’s got the whole weight of the American law enforcement behind him. And I’m going to put you in touch with Rudy [Giuliani]. You’re going to love him. Trust me. You know what I’m asking? And so I’m only going to say this a few more times in a few more ways. And by the way, don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked.”
“This is, in sum and character, what the [U.S.] President was trying to communicate with the President of Ukraine,” Schiff continued. “It would be funny if it wasn’t such a graphic betrayal of the President’s oath of office. But as it does represent a real betrayal, there’s nothing the President says here that is in America’s interest after all.”
Speaking to reporters on the same matter, Schiff said: “What those [transcript] notes reflect is a classic mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader…. This is how a mafia boss talks. ‘What have you done for us? We’ve done so much for you, but there’s not much reciprocity. I have a favor I want to ask you.’ And what is that favor? Of course, the favor is to investigate his political rival; to investigate the Bidens.”
After conducting extensive impeachment-inquiry hearings in October and November of 2019, Schiff and his House Intelligence Committee released a 300-page report on December 3. As journalist Joel Pollak wrote at Breitbart.com, that report cited “no constitutionally permissible grounds for impeachment against President Donald Trump — other than tweets.” Noting that Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides that impeachment shall be for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Pollak added:
“Notably, though Schiff and others attempted to argue that the president had possibly committed ‘bribery’ by allegedly asking the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. aid, there is no discussion of bribery whatsoever in the report — other than references to Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s claims that Biden might be guilty of bribery because his son was on the payroll of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma.
“The only references to any ‘crimes’ allegedly committed by the president is a discussion of ‘witness intimidation.’ Schiff and his Democrat majority attempt to argue that President Trump committed that crime by tweeting criticism of several witnesses against him, including calling them ‘Never Trumpers’ and drawing attention to their testimony. […]
“The report also cites, in a general sense, the crimes of ‘obstructing Congress,’ ‘concealing material facts,’ and ‘retaliating against employees who provide information to Congress.’ Democrats provide no real evidence to support the latter two charges. […] So instead of ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ Democrats are trying to impeach the president on the basis of tweets he posted in his own defense against their own, arguably partisan, inquisition.”
Schiff Says Senate Failure to Impeach Trump Resulted in 50,000 American Deaths from Coronavirus
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on April 24, 2020 — at which point the U.S. death toll from the Chinese coronavirus pandemic had reached 50,000 — Schiff claimed that those deaths were due mostly to the fact that the Senate had failed to remove President Trump from office during the impeachment trial in early February:
“There is one thing that, really, I have to say haunts me from the trial… [E]essentially, house managers, you’ve proved him guilty [sic]. Does he really need to be removed [from office by the Senate] after all? We have an election in nine months. How much damage could he really do? And we posed that question to the Senate and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage but frankly, Chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead. There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead, in significant part because of his incompetence, because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don’t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence would be so fatal to the American people.”
Schiff Condemns Trump for Russian Bounty Allegations, but Schiff Had Learned of the Allegations 4 Months Earlier & Had Taken No Action
In June 2020, a New York Times report citing anonymous officials who had been “briefed on the matter,” claimed that: (a) a Russian military intelligence unit had secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and coalition forces in Afghanistan; and (b) President Trump had been briefed on this but had taken no action. Replying to the allegations, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: “The U.S. receives thousands of reports a day on intelligence, and they are subject to strict scrutiny. While the White House does not routinely comment on alleged intelligence or internal deliberations, the CIA Director, [the] National Security Advisor, and the Chief of Staff can all confirm that neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence.” “There is no consensus within the intelligence community on these allegations, and, in effect, there are dissenting opinions from some in the intelligence community with regards to the veracity of what’s being reported,” she added. “And the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.”
Schiff, however, condemned President Trump for his inaction vis-a-vis the unverified allegations. He also demanded that the Trump administration brief all of Congress about those allegations. But several months earlier, in February 2020, top Intelligence Committee staff for Schiff had been briefed on the alleged Russian bounty offers, yet Schiff himself took no action in response to that briefing. When asked by a reporter whether he in fact had known of the intelligence before the publication of the New York Times story, Schiff answered: “I can’t comment on the specifics.”
Schiff Falsely Says That Emails Indicating Corruption by Joe Biden & His Son Were Russian Disinformation
In October 2020, it was learned that according to emails retrieved from a laptop computer owned by Joe Biden‘s son Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s longstanding claim that he knew nothing about his son’s overseas financial dealings was false. The New York Post published a bombshell report indicating that, according to an email retrieved from the computer hard drive, Hunter Biden had introduced his father in April 2015 to Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at Burisma Holdings, a large Ukrainian gas company where Hunter was a board member. An earlier email from May 2014 also showed Pozharskyi asking Hunter Biden for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf. Additional emails showed that Hunter Biden had pursued a number of highly profitable deals involving the CEFC China Energy Company, Communist China’s largest private energy firm, and that Joe Biden had apparently profited financially from those deals.
But Schiff showed no curiosity about this apparent corruption on Joe Biden’s part. Instead, he stated that the incriminating emails had been planted by “Russian disinformation” agents. “We know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin,” Schiff told CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer. “That’s been clear for well over a year now that they’ve been pushing this false narrative about this vice president and his son. The origins of this whole smear are from the Kremlin, and the president is only too happy to have Kremlin help in trying to amplify it.”
Schiff’s claims prompted leftwing journalist Glenn Greenwald to remark: “First of all, Adam Schiff is seriously the most pathological liar in all of American politics that I have seen in all of my time covering politics and journalism. He just fabricates accusations at the drop of a hat the way that other people change underwear. He is simply lying when he just asserts over and over that the Russians or the Kremlin are behind this story. He has no idea whether or not that’s true. There’s no evidence to support it.”
Embracing an Illegal Leak about Supreme Court’s Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade, As a Justification for Packing the Court
On May 2, 2022, Politico reported that an unidentified individual had leaked an initial draft majority opinion, written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in which the Court had decided to strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. “No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending,” said Politico. Whereas Roe had guaranteed federal constitutional protections for abortion rights, the new ruling would return responsibility for those rights to each individual state. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote in his opinion, adding: “We hold that Roe and Casey [a 1992 decision that largely reaffirmed the rights set forth in Roe] must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
In response to the leaked news regarding the Court’s decision. Schiff tweeted on May 4, 2022: “I don’t care how the draft leaked. That’s a sideshow. What I care about is that a small number of conservative justices, who lied about their plans to the Senate [during their Senate confirmation hearings], intend to deprive millions of women of reproductive care. Codifying Roe isn’t enough. We must expand the court.”
Schiff Reflexively & Wrongly Attributes an Anti-Asian Mass Shooting to “Bigotry”
At 10:22 p.m. on January 21, 2023 in Monterey Park, California, a gunman walked into a ballroom dance studio where Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations were in progress, and he killed 10 people while injuring 10 others; all 20 of the victims were Asian. Even before police had released any information about the suspect’s identity, Schiff was quick to attribute the atrocity to an alleged scourge of white supremacy and anti-Asian hate. Tweeted the congressman: “Ten dead in Monterey Park. I am sickened. A horrific example of needless gun violence. With bigotry toward AAPI [Asian American Pacific Islander] individuals as a possible motive. The families are in my prayers as we seek information by law enforcement. We’ll never quit demanding real action on gun safety.”
The following day, it was reported that the perpetrator was Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man whose motive was related to a domestic dispute.
Resolution Introduced to Expel Schiff from Congress
On May 17, 2023 — five days after Special Counsel John Durham had released a report stating that the FBI, by launching an investigation into alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian agents, had “failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law” — Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna introduced a resolution to expel Schiff, a longtime promoter of the Trump-Russia hoax, from Congress. Moreover, Luna released multiple statements that same day, including the following:
- “Schiff lied to the American people. He used his position on House Intel to push a lie that cost American taxpayers millions of dollars. 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. Ethics should investigate.”
Resolution Introduced to Censure Schiff & Fine Him $16 Million for “Russia Collusion” Hoax
On May 23, 2023, Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna introduced a House Resolution proposing that Schiff be censured and also fined $16 million for “egregious abuse of the trust of the American people” vis-a-vis his many false assertions of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Such a fine would have been contingent upon the House Ethics Committee concluding that Schiff had intentionally lied about the Trump-Russia allegations. “It is the obligation of House Leadership to back up this motion for the American people and hold this feckless man accountable,” Luna said in a statement.
The amount of the proposed fine was approximately half of the cost incurred by taxpayers for the federal investigation into the allegations of Trump-Russia collusion — allegations that were subsequently debunked in their entirety by reports from special counsels Robert Mueller and John Durham.
Said the resolution:
“Whereas the allegation that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 Presidential election has been revealed as false by numerous in-depth investigations, including the recent report by Special Counsel John Durham, which documents how the conspiracy theory was invented, funded, and spread by President’s Trump’s political rivals;
“Whereas Representative Adam Schiff, who served as ranking minority member and then Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives (HPSCI), occupied positions of extreme trust, affording him access to sensitive intelligence unavailable to most Members of Congress;
“Whereas for years Representative Schiff abused this trust by citing evidence of collusion that—as is clear from reports by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and Special Counsel Durham—does not exist;
“Whereas by repeatedly telling these falsehoods, Representative Schiff purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people;
“Whereas Representative Schiff lent credibility to the Steele dossier—a collection of debunked collusion accusations funded by President Trump’s political rivals—by reading false Steele allegations into the Congressional Record at a HPSCI hearing on March 20, 2017;
“Whereas, once again abusing his privileged access to classified information, Representative Schiff composed a false memo justifying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application on Trump associate Carter Page, which Inspector General Horowitz later found was riddled with 17 major mistakes and omissions, provoking FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer to state unequivocally that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ‘mislead the FISC’;
“Whereas by publicly smearing Carter Page as a Russian collaborator and justifying spurious investigations of him, Representative Schiff contributed to the gross violation of a United States citizen’s civil liberties, thereby committing the very abuses HPSCI is tasked with identifying and thwarting;
“Whereas, as HPSCI ranking minority member and Chairman, Representative Schiff behaved dishonestly and dishonorably on many other occasions, including by falsely denying that his staff coordinated with a whistleblower to launch the first impeachment of President Trump;
“Whereas, as part of his impeachment efforts, during an HPSCI hearing on September 26, 2019, Representative Schiff recited a false, concocted rendition of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky;
“Whereas Representative Schiff exploited his positions on HPSCI to encourage and excuse abusive intelligence investigations of Americans for political purposes;
“Whereas Representative Schiff used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars; and
“Whereas the American taxpayers paid $32 million to fund the investigation into collusion that was launched as a result of Rep. Schiff’s lies, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information: Now, therefore, be it
“(1) the House of Representatives censures and condemns Adam Schiff, Representative of California’s 30th Congressional District, for conduct that misleads the American people in a way that is not befitting an elected Member of the House of Representatives;
“(2) Representative Adam Schiff will forthwith present himself in the well of the House of Representatives for the pronouncement of censure;
“(3) Representative Adam Schiff will be censured with the public reading of this resolution by the Speaker; and
“(4) Representative Adam Schiff be, and is hereby, fined in the amount of $16,000,000.”
The House Resolution to fine and censure Schiff was killed on June 14, 2023, when every Democrat and 20 Republicans voted for a motion to table it. Moreover, four Republicans did not vote, and two voted “present.”
But after Rep. Anna Paulina Luna subsequently removed, from the censure resolution, the provision that could have fined Schiff $16 million, the Republicans who originally had failed to support the resolution changed their votes. In a party-line vote of 213-209, the House voted on June 21, 2023 to censure Schiff, making him the 25th House lawmaker in American history to formally rebuked in that manner. The revised resolution stated that Schiff had “abused” his public trust and had “purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people” by “saying there was evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.”
In advance of the June 21 vote, Schiff — denouncing “MAGA Republicans push[ing] false and defamatory lies about me” — defiantly stated that he would wear any possible censure as a “badge of honor.” “I will not yield,” he emphasized. “Not one inch.”
Immediately after the vote was completed, when it was time for Schiff to walk to the front of the chamber to be formally censured, dozens of Democrats crowded to the front and cheered for him, chanting: “No!,” “Shame!,” and “Adam! Adam!” When Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tried to read the resolution aloud, in the tradition of previous censures in American history, the Democrats interrupted and heckled him so loudly and incessantly that he was unable to finish, and he left the chamber.
Schiff’s Positions on Key Political Issues
As matters of principle, Schiff believes that:
- all women should have an unrestricted right to abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy – subsidized by taxpayers, in cases of economic hardship;
- public and private employers alike should be legally required to implement affirmative-action hiring and promotion policies that give preference to African Americans and women, as compensation for historical injustices;
- the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is an excellent statute that can serve a strategic stepping stone toward the eventual implementation of a government-run, single-payer healthcare system;
- the principle of church-state separation is inviolable and should preclude permitting prayer in the public schools, or the posting of the Ten Commandments in public places;
- voucher programs designed to enable low-income parents to send their children to private schools rather than to failing public schools, constitute bad policy because they rob the public schools of vital resources;
- the death penalty is applied in a racially discriminatory manner, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and should be abolished;
- more guns in the hands of private citizens inevitably result in higher levels of crime, thus the availability of firearms should be restricted by whatever means are effective;
- wealthy people should be required to pay much higher tax rates than those who earn less;
- restrictions on immigration are basically racist because they tend to prevent Hispanics and other non-whites from entering the United States;
- social services should be available to all U.S. residents regardless of their immigration status;
- illegal aliens should be offered amnesty if they have been productive members of society;
- voter ID laws are, by and large, racially motivated attempts to suppress minority voting and should be eliminated;
- an ever-increasing reliance on “green energy” sources such as wind and solar should be put in place, along with the phasing out of fossil fuels, the imposition of carbon taxes, and the raising of vehicle CAFE standards;
- federal spending on infrastructure projects and job programs is crucial to the success of any economic recovery program;
- the nationalization of banks and corporations is preferable to federal bailouts of those entities.
In early 2019 Schiff endorsed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s HR 109, popularly known as the Green New Deal.
That same year, Schiff co-sponsored Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384, the Medicare For All Act of 2019.
Further Reading: “Adam Schiff” (Ballotpedia.org, Votesmart.org); “Meet Adam Schiff” (Los Angeles Times, 7-22-2000); “The Making of Adam Schiff” (Jewish Journal, 4-12-2017).