Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Friday introduced a motion to condemn and censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) for performing a fabricated conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his opening statement at a panel hearing Thursday morning.
“During yesterday’s hearing, Chairman Schiff’s opening statement included a blatantly false retelling of President Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president. Democrats previously initiated an impeachment inquiry, which leads to one of the most serious, constitutional duties of Members of Congress: removal of the President of the United States,” Biggs, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement. “Through this process, if the President has committed high crimes or misdemeanors, Congress may overturn the election of the President and the will of the American people. It is therefore inexcusable to toy with the process and mislead the American public with such a statement.”
Although the White House released Wednesday a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky call, Schiff made-up his own transcript that he read ahead of the testimony of acting DNI chief Joseph Maguire in which he accused the president of engaging in quid pro quo with the intent of exchanging U.S. military aid to Ukraine for an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and 2020 White House hopeful Joe Biden.
“We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what? I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from YOU though. And I’m going to say this only seven times so you better listen good,” said Schiff.
“I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it,” the congressman continued.
“And I’m gonna put you in touch with Rudy, you’re gonna love him, trust me,” Schiff said, still avoiding any real quotations from the transcript. “You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times, in a few more ways. And by the way don’t call me again. I’ll call you when you’ve done what I’ve asked.”
“This is in sum and character what the president was trying to communicate,” he concluded.
On Friday, President Trump lambasted Schiff’s performance and demanded that he resign from Congress.
“Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist,” President Trump tweeted,
“HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT,” the president added.
“Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public,” he added. “He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!”
Although House Democrats claim the call — which is the subject of a partisan CIA officer’s so-called “whistleblower” complaint— shows a clear attempt by President Trump to invite Ukraine to meddle in U.S. affairs, Zelensky himself has dismissed their assertations, saying he never felt pressed by the president to investigate the Bidens.
“I think you read everything. I think you read text. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to democratic open elections, elections of USA. No, sure, we had I think good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things, and I — so I think and you read it that nobody pushed me,” Zelensky, flanked by the president, told reporters at the United Nations in New York City.
Nonetheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), under pressure from progressive Democrats, announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the call on Wednesday. Though House Democrats might be racing towards impeachment, the complaint-maker and his claims have already raised major red flags.