On Thursday, following weeks of consistent hectoring by Democrats in Congress, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes announced he was stepping aside from his panel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election. According to CBS News:
The California Republican suggested he made the decision because he said several “leftwing activist groups” filed accusations against him with the Office of Congressional Ethics. He said their charges are “entirely false and politically motivated.”
The question now is whether Nunes’s fellow Californian and ranking Democrat committee member Adam Schiff will follow suit. On Thursday, the same day Nunes recused himself, Freedom Watch announced that it had filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Schiff.
Citing the U.S. House of Representatives “Code of Ethics for Government Service,” the group accused Schiff of having knowledge of and seeking to cover up “widespread crimes, multitudes of felonies, of warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens within the domestic United States for partisan political purposes and partisan advantage, invasion of privacy, and illegal disclosure of classified information.”
The letter to the House ethics committee adds:
Instead of fulfilling his duties to uphold the law, report violations of law, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, protect the civil liberties and constitutional rights of U.S. citizens and the integrity of the U.S. Government with regard to illegal surveillance intimidation of U.S. officials, Ranking Member Adam Schiff is actively furthering these violations of the law and seeking to obstruct justice by covering them up, also committing the crime of misprison of many felonies.
In short, Ranking Member Schiff is actively committing obstruction of justice. Note that that is not just within the processes inside Congress. Schiff is actively seeking to conceal evidence of crimes that require criminal prosecution by federal prosecutors external to the Congress. Schiff’s misconduct does not only affect how the Congress or the Committee does its business. Schiff’s efforts are to interfere with actual prosecution of real crimes in federal court and before a federal grand jury. Schiff seeks to silence the Chairman and squelch any legitimate investigation.
As General Counsel of Freedom Watch, and previously the Founder of Judicial Watch, and a former federal prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, I petitioned the House Intelligence Committee that it must question Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey about apparent illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of prominent Americans, such as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, and prominent businessmen and others such as Donald J. Trump (later President). I explained my efforts to have the Committee question FBI Director Comey about what was supposed to be an ongoing investigation of materials and testimony provided by whistleblower Dennis Montgomery, a former NSA and CIA contractor. While the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, is belatedly and slowly taking partial action to investigate and expose widespread abuses by some members of the intelligence community, Ranking Member Schiff has then attacked and sought to obstruct the modest efforts of Chairman Nunes to silence exposure of these crimes.
The letter goes on to say that former President Barack Obama and his National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, “hacked” the 2016 presidential election and said there “is no excuse” for Rice to have unmasked “U.S. citizens whose conversations have been wiretapped without a warrant, violating and circumventing the purpose of the FISA court.”
“Much as whistleblower Dennis Montgomery warned us, Susan Rice working only steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing systematically orchestrated surveillance aimed at “wiretapping” and conducting illegal surveillance on the conversations of political opponents’ campaign leaders, so that she could then illegally and unconstitutionally unmask the conversations of political opponents,” the letter adds.
Worse yet, the letter says, Schiff is “seeking to cover up for widespread felonies that corrupt the core of our constitutional republic.”
“In short,” Freedom Watch General Counsel Larry Klayman said, “Ranking Member Schiff must be held to account legally and ethically for his failure to carry out his oath of office and obligations to the American people to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States and all of its underlying laws.”
Klayman discussed the charges against Schiff here:
- Devin Nunes Steps Down from House Russia Investigation
- Adam Schiff: No definitive proof of Trump-Russia collusion
- Dem. Rep. Cummings: Nunes should be subject of investigation