Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told House Republicans to wake up and do their jobs of oversight on Trump, because America needs them as democracy is being destroyed.
Rep. Schiff said:
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution. If this was oversight, I would be in strong support of any effort to seek production, but it is not. This is not oversight. It is collaboration with the Executive masquerading as oversight. Or if this is oversight, it is oversight of the most obsequious kind.
It is oversight in the nature of, “How may we serve you, Dear President?” It is oversight that asks, “What is your will, Dear President?” Oversight that says, “We are not worthy, Dear President.” It is oversight that says, “We shall seek but you shall find, Mr. President, because what we obtain we shall provide to your legal defense team or we shall selectively leak or misrepresent in your service.”
It is oversight in the nature of not desiring an outcome, not desiring the production documents but rather the production of a fight, the production of a pretext to give the Dear President a pretext to fire Rod Rosenstein or Bob Mueller.
I have served on the Intelligence Committee now for almost a decade. And while I cannot disclose the number of FISA applications during the course of those ten years, I can tell you the number of times that my Republican colleagues have sought the underlying investigatory materials behind a specific FISA application. And that number is one. That case is this case. And that case just happens to implicate our Dear President.
It is not that there are no areas that call out for oversight right now. There are too many to count. Why is it that after sanctioning ZTE for violating Iran sanctions and violating North Korea sanctions, the President abruptly changed course out of an ostensible concern for Chinese jobs? Is it because the Chinese invested $500 million in a Trump branded property? That is worthy of oversight. Is the First Family seeking to do business with Gulf or other allies while making U.S. policy, is U.S. policy for sale? That is worthy of oversight.
Is the President seeking to raise postal rates on Amazon to punish The Washington Post and suppress the freedom of press? That is worthy of oversight. But none of this is oversight.
Speaker Boehner recently said that the Republican party was off taking a nap somewhere. If that is so, then despite the best efforts of our capable Ranking Member, Elijah Cummings, the Government Reform Committee that should be doing this oversight is in the midst of the deepest slumber.
Wake up, my colleagues, and do your jobs. Wake up and end this duplicitous attack on the Department of Justice and the FBI and our Special Counsel because this is surely not oversight. It is not what oversight looks like. But it is what an attack on the rule of law looks like. It is what happens when we whittle away our democracy one piece by terrible piece.
When this chapter of our history is written, it will condemn the actions of a President who little understands or respects the institutions of our democracy. But it will reserve some of the harshest criticism for this Congress that enabled him. This Congress that knew its responsibility but failed to live up to it.
Wake up Republican party, wake up my colleagues. The country needs you.
True oversight when the President occupies the same party as the Majority in Congress requires that Majority to put country over party. It is incompatible with the corrupting principle of party over everything else.
Wake up my colleagues, and do your jobs. I yield back.
Voters are saying in poll after poll that they want a Congress that will check Trump. Rep. Adam Schiff laid out the how of why Republicans are failing their country by refusing to hold Trump accountable for anything. It was a powerful speech that laid out the Democratic philosophy of oversight and what Trump can expect of a blue wave sweeps them into power in November.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association