‘Until the Committee prioritizes oversight activities related to urgent and critical concerns, Republican Members cannot support distractions from our core responsibilities…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Following months in which House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., prioritized impeachment over the committee’s duties overseeing the intelligence community, ranking minority member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and other GOP representatives boycotted a hearing Wednesday that they dismissed as a publicity stunt.
“Under your chairmanship, the House Intelligence Committee has strayed far from its mandate of overseeing the Intelligence Community,” wrote Nunes and Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, who serves as the ranking Republican for the Subcommittee on Strategic Technologies and Advance Research.
“In fact, we have gone months at a time in which we’ve hardly held any oversight-related briefings or hearings at all,” they said.
According to Fox News, Schiff had scheduled a hearing titled “Emerging Technologies and National Security,” but the Republicans criticized him for neglecting hearings on the inspector general’s December report that outlined multiple abuses by the FBI in exploiting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on the Trump campaign.
“During this period of inadequate oversight, numerous critical issues pertinent to this Committee’s jurisdiction were ignored,” they wrote.
Compared with the 17 abuses noted by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, with the Justice Department confirming that two of the four FISA applications for wiretapping Trump adviser Carter Page lacked probable cause, Nunes and Stewart said Schiff’s agenda was little more than a distraction.
“Despite the seriousness of these issues and our clear jurisdiction, you have failed to hold a single briefing or hearing on this matter,” they said. “Until the Committee prioritizes oversight activities related to urgent and critical concerns, Republican Members cannot support distractions from our core responsibilities.”
It is not the first time the Republicans on the committee have pushed back. Following the failures of the Mueller Report last March to establish any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the GOP members demanded that Schiff step down as chairman for his false claims that he had irrefutable evidence.
“Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming,” said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas. “We have no faith in your ability to discharge your duty.”
Schiff’s own efforts to collude with the so-called whistleblower on the recent impeachment effort also may become the subject of their own investigation in the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, following President Donald Trump’s acquittal.
“I wanna find out how this crap started,” Graham said.
“… If the whistleblower was working with people on Schiff’s staff that wanted to take Trump down a year and a half ago, I think that would be important,” he continued. “If the Schiff-staff people helped write the complaint, that would be important.”