Stefanik calls on Schiff to resign

SYDNEY SCHAEFER n WATERTOWN DAILY TIMESU.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, awaits the start of a 21st Congressional District debate at Channel 7's studio in Watertown.

The House Select Committee on Intelligence — including U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville — convened Thursday for a hearing on Russian interference tactics, chaired by California Democratic representative Adam Schiff.

After Mr. Schiff delivered his opening remarks for the hearing, which was livestreamed, he gave time to Rep. Michael Conway, a Republican. Mr. Conway presented a letter calling on Mr. Schiff to resign his position as chair, signed by all nine Republican members of the committee, on the grounds that he continued to allege and investigate Russian collusion with the campaign of President Donald J. Trump after the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded there was no collusion.

“The findings of the special counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions, and have exposed you to have abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this committee and undermined faith in the United States government and its institutions,” Mr. Conway said. “Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as chairman of this committee ... as such we have no faith your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as chairman of this committee.”

Shortly after Mr. Conway presented the letter to Mr. Schiff, Ms. Stefanik tweeted on her personal and political Twitter “Chairman Adam Schiff has lost the confidence of his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee. Today, I joined my colleagues in asking for him to resign. We must return to the important bipartisan work of the committee to strengthen U.S. intelligence capabilities.”

The letter is dated Thursday and was presented by Mr. Conway several hours after President Donald J. Trump Tweeted Mr. Schiff should resign from Congress, not just as chair.

“Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” he tweeted at 6:43 a.m. Thursday.

Provided an opportunity for additional comment, Ms. Stefanik’s office provided a copy of the letter.

Mr. Schiff took a moment to defend himself before continuing with the hearing, laying out a number of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians, while saying he would abide by the decision of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

“You might say that’s all OK,” Mr. Schiff said. “You might say that’s just what you need to do to win, but I don’t think it’s OK. I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And yes, I think it’s corrupt and evidence of collusion.”

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