One of the most prominent figures from the Democrats’ dogged attempts to push the now-debunked Russia collusion story is coming to New England to raise money for Rep. Chris Pappas.
And perhaps pick up support for a leadership post in his party.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has made no secret he is hoping to move up within his party’s caucus, perhaps even taking Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s place. The California Democrat will be in Boston Tuesday to fundraise for Pappas and Rep. Jared Golden of Maine. Both are in districts rated “toss-ups” in the midterm election.
Matt Mowers, one of the Republicans running in the NHGOP primary to take on Pappas, calls Schiff “one of the most divisive members of Congress in the country.”
“As Nancy Pelosi pours millions of dollars into the race, it’s clear that Pappas needs more help from California to keep his failing campaign afloat.”
The Washington Post first reported Schiff is making a push to be House Democratic leader should current Pelosi step aside from the top spot after the midterms. Should things go better than expected for Democrats in the fall, he could be vying for speaker.
Schiff has outraised his potential competitors to lead the Democrat caucus, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, according to Open Secrets, which tracks money in politics. He hauled in $16.9 million for his campaign and his Frontline USA PAC raised $1.7 million. The Jeffries campaign raised $4.4 million, the Hoyer campaign raised $3 million, and the Clyburn campaign raised $2.7 million.
None of those members have competitive races, but the money haul can indicate their strength within the party and their capacity to help the campaigns of colleagues.
Schiff is perhaps the member of Congress most identified with promoting the Trump-Russia collusion narrative that dominated D.C. for the first two years of the Trump presidency. Schiff, serving as ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, consistently suggested he was privy to evidence the public was not.
He told NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd in April 2017, “I would characterize it this way at the outset of the investigation: There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that’s where we begin the investigation.”
Less than a month later, Schiff engaged in a conversation that he will likely never live down. The Russian comedy team, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov pranked him as one claiming to be a Ukraine politician Andriy Parubiy informed Schiff, “There were pictures of naked Trump.” Schiff replied, “And so Putin was made aware of the availability of the compromising material?” The fake Parubiy said it was the means for blackmail. The Daily Mail reported Schiff’s staff continuously followed up to try to collect the “classified materials for the FBI” from a likely bewildered Ukraine embassy in Washington.
Schiff was later named chairman of the House Intelligence Committee by his fellow Democrats.
After the Mueller report was released finding no evidence of collusion and contradicting Schiff’s public claims of “proof,” one expert on the Russia case labeled him “the boy who cried ‘collusion.'”
GOP members of the Intel Committee responded by calling on Schiff to resign.
“Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming,” the committee members wrote. “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, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions.”
Schiff continues to insist the collusion story is true.
When the Russia scandal did not work for Democrats, Schiff promptly took leadership of the Democratic House’s impeachment of Trump over a phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Schiff was caught lying about communications between his staff and the whistleblower on the Trump-Zelensky call. Schiff claimed it never happened, until The New York Times reported that it did.
While leading the Ukraine impeachment probe, Schiff’s staff gathered phone records from AT&T and Verizon of Trump’s allies — and at least one journalist — without using the subpoena process. He also failed to notify the targets. Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel referred to this as Schiff’s “surveillance state.”
In March 2020, Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote in a letter to Schiff that Congress has the right to seek information but not without judicial review. Under Schiff’s leadership, Carr wrote, “The committee created out of whole cloth a secret and effectively unreviewable and unchecked mechanism for obtaining call records on any and all Americans.”
“In New Hampshire, Chris Pappas acts like JFK, but in Washington, he votes like AOC. Pappas’ voting record shows that he will do anything to please the far-left and kiss Nancy Pelosi’s ring,” Mowers said. “From lying about intelligence reports, sham hearings, and his multiple attempts to divide our country for political power, Adam Schiff is one of the most corrupt members of Congress in the country.
“While Pappas, Schiff, and their Harvard buddies drink tea and eat crumpets in Boston tomorrow, I’ll be meeting Granite Staters who are trying to figure out if they’ll be able to heat their home this winter.”