The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee has fallen into President Trump's crosshairs after attacking the president over the weekend. "Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington," Trump tweeted Monday, adding Schiff is "right up there" with previous Trump targets, including former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan. Schiff "leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!" Trump added. Schiff was among those to oppose a GOP memo accusing the FBI and Justice Department of malfeasance, which received Trump's approval for release on Friday. In an Esquire op-ed published a day later, Schiff accused Trump of trying to turn the DOJ into his "personal political tool."
Trump views the idea "that the DOJ should be anything other than an extension of his political operation as an unacceptable constraint on his authority," the California Democrat wrote. Schiff—who cited Trump's alleged attempts to secure the loyalty of Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—also said Trump "would take the reins of the FBI to protect himself and to deploy their immense investigative powers against his political opponents at will." Following Trump's rebuttal, Schiff tweeted, "Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV" and did "anything else." Schiff is expected to push for the release of a Democrat memo to counter the GOP version on Monday, per the Los Angeles Times. If Trump disapproves of its release, "it would force the House into a full, closed session to override him," says Politico's Kyle Cheney.