Today, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) called out Chairman Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee for his McCarthyism-style playbook and abuse of power. All nine House Intel Committee Republicans wrote to Schiff today calling for him to resign his position as Chairman. In response, Schiff attacked all of the Republican Members of the House Intel Committee. A written version of Turner’s statement follows:
When Senator Joe McCarthy walked the halls of Congress, people in this nation were transfixed, but they were also appalled, and this body then recognized the danger of unethical abuse of congressional powers. Now, the testimony from Steve Hall today says that Vladimir Putin has as his primary goal the weakening of the United States and the West. Mr. Chairman, I am asking for your resignation today because I believe you are advancing Putin’s work. I believe the Chair has abused his power in these processes and he is misrepresenting the information that we’ve received in classified sessions.
Mr. Chairman, this body finally understood that the McCarthyism it had watched for years was something to be rejected, but you are using that playbook. With McCarthyism, we had chasing after Russian communists, and now we have Schiff chasing after Russian collusion and those who would collude. Mr. Chairman, in your opening statements, you attacked, in true McCarthy fashion, each and every one of us. You stated what we think. You can’t say what we think. It’s the lowest form of any argument to attack someone.
Now what we have said is we’ve come forward and said that we all think that your leadership of this Committee is compromised, in part, because you behave as if your fellow Members of this Committee are your enemy. You behave as if the President is also, similarly, your enemy. And in true McCarthy fashion, you act as though you are the only one who is capable of protecting this nation and everyone else is a co-conspirator who have suspect intentions.
Your response could have been that you’re here to protect national security, that you’re here to ensure this Committee has no leaks, that you’re here to ensure that this Committee works together and that you want to have true bipartisan work to support the international intelligence efforts of our country.
Instead you’ve shown contempt for your fellow Members of Congress. For two years your opening statements have repeatedly attacked the Members of this Committee, their motives, and their work. You have transformed the staff of this Committee, so that they are prosecutorial instead of working on issues of national security and intelligence. You have misrepresented to the American people information that we received in classified sessions. And you’ve had this Committee diverge from its goals.
That is a danger to national security. It is a distraction. It causes this Committee not to function.
When this Congress took a look back at itself and what had happened with Senator Joe McCarthy, it made a commitment that Congress would no longer be abusive in its powers, that it would look to protecting its national security.
Mr. Chairman, your reactions today were in true McCarthyism as you chose to attack us instead of state your commitment to national security.
Afterwards, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who served under President Obama, stated, “I do think polarization in our society advances Putin’s national interest.”
To watch the full video, click here.
On Tuesday, Turner called for Schiff to resign his chairmanship.