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GOP Lawmakers Open Hearing by Demanding Schiff Resign

But Schiff isn't relenting on calling out Trump-Russia ties
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2019 2:17 PM CDT
In this June 6, 2017, file photo Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, left, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee speak...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
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(Newser) – A House Intelligence Committee hearing got quite heated Thursday morning, with GOP Rep. Mike Conaway telling Democrat Adam Schiff he should step down as head of the committee. The issue: The special counsel probe found no evidence of collusion between President Trump's team and Russia during the 2016 election, yet Schiff continues to call out Trump-Russia ties. Conaway read a letter that he said was signed by all nine Republican members of the committee, telling Schiff, "Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming. The findings of the special counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions, and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information." He said that makes him unfit to lead the committee, and said all nine Republicans "urge your immediate resignation as chairman." Schiff responded, leading to what Mediaite calls an "explosive clash" and what Axios calls "a dramatic opening" to the hearing.

Schiff said that while some of his colleagues might have no problem with the Russians offering "dirt on the Democratic candidate for president" in an attempt to help the Trump campaign, and might similarly find nothing wrong with a host of other things like the infamous Trump Tower meeting, he considers those things "corrupt and evidence of collusion." However, he said he accepts Robert Mueller's finding that the crime of conspiracy could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Trump himself is also calling for Schiff to resign, not just from his chair position but from Congress entirely, Fox News reports. Schiff has been facing increasing criticism from Republicans ever since the Mueller report was submitted to the Justice Department, but he says his committee will continue its own investigation and is calling for the report to be made public, CNN reports. (Read more Mueller report stories.)

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