Matt Gaetz demands ethics investigation of Schiff for describing Trump's Ukraine call


The Florida Republican is determined to find a way to punish the Intelligence chair for paraphrasing the partial transcript.

Last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his fellow House Republicans attempted to censure Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff for the way he is conducting the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents. Since that effort failed badly, he tried a new tack on Wednesday, sending a letter to the House Ethics Committee asking them to investigate Schiff.

The gist of the Florida Republican's letter is that he believes there were "rules broken and false statements made" when Schiff (D-CA) described Trump's conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a committee hearing last month and when Schiff stated he had evidence of Trump's 2016 campaign improperly soliciting and accepting support from Russia. Trump unsuccessfully demanded Schiff be arrested for "treason" for the former, nd taunted him as having a "little pencil-neck," even though Schiff made it absolutely clear that he was paraphrasing the partial transcript Trump released of the call.

Gaetz, a ubiquitous Trump defender, has emerged as one of the House's most Ahab-like critics of Schiff. In April, he aped Trump's bullying tactics and filed the PENCIL Act (Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses) — a resolution to remove Schiff from his role as intelligence chair and to revoke Schiiff's security clearance. Gaetz co-sponsored the resolutions to censure Schiff (though he did not actually show up to vote when it came to the floor). Gaetz has tried to sneak into closed-door depositions he was not entitled to attend and organized a press conference last week to demand "transparency" for the Schiff-led impeachment inquiry, subsequently leading dozens of his colleagues in storming into the secure hearing room — imperiling national security.

The House Ethics Committee is equally divided between five Democrats and five Republicans. Under committee rules, it would require at least one Democratic member to join with the Republicans to open any investigation; the effort to censure Schiff failed on a party-line vote in the full House.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.