Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is taking off his gloves and is going to be filing a complaint against Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA). According to ABC reporter Ben Siegel, Gaetz will file the complaint with the Ethics Committee. Siegel obtained a letter from Gaetz, which read,
“Dear Chairman Deutch and Ranking Memeber Marchant:
I respectfully write to request that the House Committee on Ethics open an investigation into rules broken, and false statements made, by Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on intelligence.
On July 25, 2019, President Trump spoke on the phone with newly-elected President Zelensky of Ukraine. This call, a transcript of which was released to the public on September, 25, 2019, has been the subject of extensive reporting, particularly after the existence of a “whistleblower complaint” came to light. The
anonymous whistleblower raised allegations of alleged impropriety during the call in a complaint filed August 12, which was subsequently released to the public on September 26, 2019.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing on the whistleblower complaint on September 26, 2019. During this hearing, Chairman Schiff gave a wildly-inaccurate and distorted “retelling” of President Trump and President Zelensky’s call, grossly misrepresenting the content of the call to the American people, and saying that President Trump’s comments were “like a classic organized crime shakedown.” This statement, and his bizarre distortion of the Trump-Zelensky call, appears to violate clauses 1 and 2 of the House Rule XXIII (“Code of Official Conduct”). This behavior does not “reflect creditably on the House,” nor does if follow “the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House.” It is incumbent on Members of Congress to be accurate and honest to the American people, and Chairman Schiff has been neither.
Furthermore, Mr. Schiff’s actions were a blatant and clear-cut violation of longstanding parliamentary precedent, prohibiting making “accusations that the President has committed a crime,” or claiming “that the President has done something illegal.” As Jefferson’s Manual states on Page 189, “Indeed, any suggestion of mendacity [on the part of the President] is out of order.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Schiff’s behavior cannot be construed to be an ‘Honest mistake,’ as is long-standing and habitual. In a March 2017 interview, Mr. Schiff claimed to have “more than circumstantial evidence” of President Trump and his campaign “colluding” with Russia. As the report from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has made clear, Mr. Schiff’s claim was baseless and untrue; to date, Chairman Schiff has not justified his statement.
Mr. Schiff’s unprofessional and divisive behavior has caused conflict within the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. On March 28, 2019 every Republican on the committee signed a letter requesting Chairman Schiff’s immediate resignation, citing his “willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative” ass proof that he has “damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions.”
On October 14, I attempted to enter a deposition, conducted jointly by the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees. I was removed from the deposition by Chairman Schiff. The Chairman’s actions appear to have violated House Rule XI, clause 2 (g)(2)(c), which states “A member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not be excluded from nonparticipatory attendance at a hearing of a committee or subcommittee […} unless the House by majority vote authorizes a particular committee or subcommittee, for purposes of a particular series of hearings to Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner by the same procedures specified in this subparagraph for closing hearings to the public.”
While the 116th Congress’s “Regulations for the Use of Deposition Authority” state that “the chair of the committee noticing the deposition may designate that deposition as part of a joint investigation between committees,” and that “Members and designated staff of the committees may attend and ask questions,” this regulation does not expressly prohibit nonparticipatory attendance from members of other committees. Furthermore, Speaker Pelosi has stated that the current “impeachment inquiry” is being conducted by the Oversight, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services, and Judiciary Committees. Therefore, because the Committee on the Judiciary shares jurisdiction in the House’s current impeachment inquiry, I should not have been excluded from the joint hearing. Chairman Schiff’s refusal to admit me into the deposition thus violates longstanding House Rules and the deposition regulations adopted by the 116th Congress.
Accordingly, after the House Committee on Ethics thoroughly investigates this matter, I urge you to make all appropriate referrals to the Department of Justice, for further investigation and prosecution.”
Siegel posted Rep. Gaetz’s letter to his Twitter account tweeting,
.@RepMattGaetz says he’s filing this complaint against
@RepAdamSchiff with the Ethics Committee:
Twitter user Alan Ursino simply responded to Siegel’s tweet, “Awesome!”
I can’t agree more, Alan! It’s about time somebody checks Mr. Schiff’s butt!