Democrat Schiff forcefully defends Russia probe, claims of Trump collusion

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 28, 2019 - Duration: 02:11s

Democrat Schiff forcefully defends Russia probe, claims of Trump collusion

The Democratic chair of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee forcefully defended his efforts to investigate Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia in the face of calls from Republicans he resign after the Justice Department said an investigation did not find Trump conspired with Moscow.

Zachary Goelman reports.


Democrat Schiff forcefully defends Russia probe, claims of Trump collusion

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: One sentence in the script has been changed to correspond with new guidance related to U.S. Attorney General William Barr's summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reportSchiff has come under fire after the Justice Department said Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to win the 2016 presidential race.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), SAYING: "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." Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the powerful U.S. House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff on Thursday forcefully defended his record investigating Donald Trump alleged ties to Russia, in the face of calls that he resign from Republicans on own panel.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE CONWAY (R-TX) SAYING: "As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties.

[FLASH] and urge your immediate resignation as chairman of the committee." The president himself tweeted Thursday that Schiff should be forced out of Congress.

Schiff has come under fire after the Justice Department said Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to win the 2016 presidential race.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN McCARTHY, SAYING: "He needs to resign from the committee." But Schiff offered no resignation, and no apology.

He turned the argument on Republicans, who accused of complacency in the face what he called corrupt and immoral conduct by the Trump campaign.

Schiff pointed to contacts between Trump associates and Russians, some of whom are accused of lying about those contacts, and to Trump's pursuit of a real estate deal in Moscow while running for president.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), SAYING: "You might say that's all OK.

You might say that's just what you need to do to win.

But I don't think it's OK.

[FLASH] And the day we do think that's OK, is the day we will look back and say that is the day that America lost its way." Early in Trump administration Schiff emerged as the face of a Democratic drive to investigate the president, his campaign and his business's alleged ties to Russia.

But SUNDAY the Justice Department on appeared to pull the rug out from under him, when U.S. Attorney General William Barr released in a four-page letter saying that Mueller did not find that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.

Trump immediately claimed victory.

And his allies quickly called for Schiff to resign.

Democratic leaders are standing by Schiff, and calling for Mueller's full report - said to run more than 300 pages - to be released.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "Show us the report." The attorney general has promised to release a redacted report.

Barr has agreed to testify about it to Congress, though a date has not yet been set.

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