News & Politics

House Republicans Boycott Intel Committee Hearing Due to Schiff's Refusal to Hold FISA Abuse Hearings

In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

The intelligence committees in the House and Senate were created to monitor and oversee the Intelligence Community.

But Rep. Adam Schiff and the Democrats have made the committee into a partisan weapon, not so much “overseeing” intelligence but rather investigating the president.

Republicans on the committee, fed up with Schiff’s grandstanding and partisanship, boycotted a hearing today because Schiff refuses to investigate one of the most egregious violations of civil rights by the Intelligence Community in many years; the documented abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Fox News:

In a letter obtained by Fox News, Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Chris Stewart, R-Utah, the ranking members of the committee and subcommittee, respectively, joined GOP colleagues in blasting Schiff, D-Calif., for not holding hearings on FISA in the wake of the IG report.

“Under your chairmanship, the House Intelligence Committee has strayed far from its mandate of overseeing the Intelligence Community. In fact, we have gone months at a time in which we’ve hardly held any oversight-related briefings or hearings at all,” they wrote Wednesday.

“During this period of inadequate oversight, numerous critical issues pertinent to this Committee’s jurisdiction were ignored,” they continued, noting that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued his FISA report on Dec. 9 which identified “seventeen serious shortcomings related to the conduct” of the surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy aide Carter Page.

Schiff believes that giving any publicity at all to the illegitimacy of the investigation might play very badly in the heartland. It might make it look like going after Trump was a partisan witch hunt.

Gee. Ya think?

“The IG Report was followed by the release of a declassified assessment by the Department of Justice acknowledging that at least two of the four FISA applications lacked probable cause,” they continued. “Despite the seriousness of these issues and our clear jurisdiction, you have failed to hold a single briefing or hearing on this matter.”

They added: “Until the Committee prioritizes oversight activities related to urgent and critical concerns, Republican Members cannot support distractions from our core responsibilities.”

Of course, the Republicans are grandstanding. But in this case, they have a pretty solid argument. What the hell else is the Intel Committee supposed to do except investigate abuses of national security law and ride herd on the cowboys at the FBI and CIA?

The insufferable Mr. Schiff can attempt to manipulate his committee for partisan purposes all he wants, but he can’t hide the facts. The FISA Act needs to be amended to protect American citizens from abuses committed in the name of the law but done for partisan political reasons.