We’re in an interesting lull period now, a kind of dead-zone space, between William Barr’s cursory, self-serving analysis of the Mueller report, and the opportunity for everyone else to read it and decide what it really says. For the moment, however, Barr’s assessment has been translated into “total exoneration” and as long as that’s the ruling narrative of the day, Trump’s cronies are making hay while the sun shines, reprimanding Democratic leaders and asking for their resignations.
At the center of the firestorm is none other than Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Donald Trump has disparaged Schiff before, and today’s assault was to call Schiff a “pencil neck” and to opine that Schiff couldn’t hit a golf ball more than 50 yards. Wow. I’ll bet that crushed him.
Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway, Matt Gaetz, and other Republican luminaries, have been calling for Schiff’s resignation. Where it gets comical, is that Schiff is being compared to Devin Nunes, do you love it? Washington Post:
“He essentially spent 22 months lying to the country,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress.
Gaetz said that in seeking Schiff’s ouster as committee chair, Republicans were following the example set by Democrats, who in 2017 sought to remove Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) when he chaired the committee.
Democrats called for Nunes to step down as chairman after a controversial visit to the White House in which he reviewed classified reports with administration officials and then told reporters that aides to the president may have been caught up in wiretaps. Nunes was put under ethics investigation and was eventually cleared of wrongdoing, but he stepped aside from running the Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe.
During that episode, Schiff questioned Nunes’s motivation for the “midnight run,” as he called it, and later accused Nunes of being “misleading” in his efforts to portray federal law enforcement officials as corrupt and biased for seeking to conduct surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser.
Republicans consider those episodes “important context,” Gaetz said, in their own calls for Schiff to step down, which have been voiced by figures as prominent as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, and the president’s son Donald Trump Jr.
So, McCarthy, Kellyanne, and Junior think Schiff should resign, using the Nunes’ debacle as some kind of a template? Oh, my. What will they think of next?
In any event, there is zero chance that Schiff will resign. This article is being written from a sunny room in California’s 28th Congressional District, Adam Schiff’s district, and we’re laughing here. I have not yet met the Congressman personally, but two of my bankers have, and they love the guy. Various business people here in the community, who have also met Mr. Schiff, do nothing but sing his praises. Here’s the bottom line:
Politically, the GOP’s focus on Schiff “probably helps him,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a University of Southern California communication professor and close watcher of California politics. “You’re talking about California, the state that is the fulcrum of the anti-Trump resistance,” she said. “This will not hurt Adam Schiff in California, period.”
Bear in mind at all times, friends, if this is new information to you: California hates Donald Trump with a passion. Yes, I know, people in the rest of the country do as well, but not like California, the most populous state. Trump is hated here with a laser intensity that borders on religious fervor. On that basis, Schiff is like a high priest, preaching the gospel, of what a bum Trump is. And, in point of fact, once we get a chance to actually read the Mueller report — who knows how right Schiff is going to be found out to be? All that Barr’s letter did was temporarily set up a positive narrative for Trump & Cabal and that won’t last forever. If the report was, truthfully, so pro-Trump, Barr would have released it in full the night he read it. He did not do so. Meanwhile, Trump’s words against Schiff are merely ratifying the man’s value to his constituents and to Californians and Democrats generally speaking, because we’ve been reading about the Trump Tower meeting, the gangsters negotiating for Trump Tower Moscow, and so on and so forth, ad nauseum, for over two years. And the Mueller report does not negate any of these events as having taken place, just as they were reported. Blow off this “full exoneration” nonsense, because that’s all it is.
Somebody is going bye bye and it’s not Adam Schiff.