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HPSCI Republicans call for new chairman

Dear Chairman Schiff:

Since prior to the inauguration of President Trump in January 2017, you have been at the center of a well-orchestrated media campaign claiming, among other things, the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. Indeed, before the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, you alleged during one of your frequent television interviews that there was “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion but that you could not “go into particulars.”

As you know, the Committee has long been aware of and actively engaged in intelligence oversight activities related to Russian malign activities. As part of our duty to oversee the actions of the intelligence community we conducted thorough investigation related to the 2016 Russian efforts to interfere with U.S. elections. This investigation included a review of allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The Committee found no evidence that President Trump or anyone associated with the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government. The Minority views, which you submitted, were attached to the Committee findings. Your views did not provide any evidence to support the claim of collusion.

On March 24, 2019 the Special Counsel delivered his findings to the Department of Justice. The notification to Congress stated, “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” Special Counsel Mueller’s findings were consistent with those of this committee, as well as the public statements of various Senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Despite these findings, you continue to proclaim in the media that there is “significant evidence of collusion.” You further have stated you “will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. That is, is the president or people around him compromised in any way by a hostile foreign power?” Your willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative is alarming.

The findings of the Special Counsel conclusively refute your past and present assertions and have exposed you as having abused your position to knowingly promote false information, having damaged the integrity of this Committee, and undermined faith in U.S. government institutions.

Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this Committee, which alone in the House of Representatives has the obligation and authority to provide effective oversight of the U.S. intelligence community. As such, we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee.

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