Lawmakers are fed up and are reacting to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s, false reading of President Trump’s phone conversation with the Ukrainian president, and have signed a resolution to censure him.
The resolution was first introduced late last month by Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs and has now been supported by 135 lawmakers who have signed as co-sponsors.
The controversy surrounding the “parody” reading by Schiff of President Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during a hearing last month has incensed many House Republicans.
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire was on Capitol Hill testifying about his role in handling the whistleblower’s complaint about the content of the phone conversation, and Schiff read his “parody” of the president’s call with Zelenskiy at the testimony.
Reading out his exaggerated version of the phone call, pretending they were President Trump’s words, he said, “I have a favor I want from you,” Schiff said, pretending to read the call transcript. “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.”
Schiff, who is leading an impeachment call against the president, defended himself.
“My summary of the president’s call was meant to be at least, part, in parody,” Schiff said. “The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself. Of course, the president never said, ‘If you don’t understand me, I’m going to say it seven more times’; my point is, that’s the message that the Ukraine president was receiving in not so many words.”
Schiff’s explanation of his version of the call, however, fell on deaf ears.
Although Democrats are in control in the House, Republicans could still force a vote.
“Schiff simply does not have the gravitas that a weighty procedure such as impeachment requires,” Biggs wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. “He has repeatedly shown incredibly poor judgment. He has persistently and consistently demonstrated that he has such a tremendous bias and animus against Trump that he will say anything and accept any proffer of even bogus evidence to try to remove the president from office.”
“Chairman Adam Schiff has been lying to the American people for years,” McCarthy said in a tweet announcing that he signed on to co-sponsor Biggs’s resolution. “Now he is so desperate to damage the president that he literally made up a false version of a phone call. Enough is enough.”
President Trump was angered and has also accused Schiff of lying to Congress. “Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist,” Trump tweeted. “He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty.”