Rep. Jim Banks: Adam Schiff lies about Trump repeatedly – Shouldn’t be leading impeachment inquiry

By striking down the Republican resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. – who is leading the impeachment inquiry against President Trump – Democrats sent a loud and clear message: you can lie in Congress and get away with it.

With their action, Democrats impugned not just the Trump impeachment inquiry but the entire House of Representatives.

We have seen three clear instances of Schiff lying.

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The first is when Schiff promised, on numerous occasions, that he had seen "ample evidence of Russian collusion" with the Trump campaign to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

But after two years and spending $40 million of taxpayer money, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation found no collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.

Schiff even dragged Mueller in front of the House Intelligence Committee, grilling him about his investigation. Mueller merely pointed to his report that concluded there is no proof of collusion. Schiff has no proof of collusion. Otherwise, he would have produced it.

The second lie is when Schiff said on national television that he and his committee had no prior contact with the whistleblower who filed a complaint about the phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine that launched the impeachment inquiry.

Even The Washington Post’s fact-checker called Schiff out on this, giving him four “Pinocchios” – the highest condemnation for a lie. The truth was that the whistleblower came to Schiff’s committee and then filed a complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general.

The truth should speak for itself. And the American people deserve it. We don’t need Adam Schiff’s spin and falsehoods.

The third lie is the most egregious. Less than 48 hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the House would open an impeachment inquiry, Schiff’s committee held its first hearing about the contents of the call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

During his opening remarks, Schiff fabricated a portion of the call between Trump and Zelensky. Schiff claimed later that this was a “parody,” but viewers who hadn’t read the rough transcript wouldn’t know that.

The rough transcript of the call was actually very boring. There was nothing impeachable in it and Schiff knew it, so he had to “revise” the transcript to make his case.

The truth should speak for itself. And the American people deserve it. We don’t need Adam Schiff’s spin and falsehoods.

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I strongly disagree with Pelosi’s decision to pursue impeachment. She started the inquiry based on a rumor from a partisan whistleblower with secondhand knowledge about something that happened in the phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

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We now know what the whistleblower alleged is false, so we should get back to business and pass legislation for the American people.

But even the staunchest opponent of this president should at least admit that those leading the impeachment process cannot be viewed as trustworthy and nonpartisan. After all, impeachment is a weighty process. It could result in the removal of a president and the overturning of a free and fair election.

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Democrats need to convince the American people that this impeachment is not just a partisan attack on a sitting president ahead of the 2020 election.

By leaving Schiff installed as the head of the impeachment inquiry, they hurt their case.