It’s getting ugly on Capitol Hill.
After President Donald Trump branded House impeachment efforts to be a “kangaroo court,” one of his most vocal allies in Congress turned the phrase into a weapon against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
To Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, Schiff is behaving like “a Malicious Captain Kangaroo.”
Gaetz dropped the insulting-but-apt description during an impromptu news conference, where Republican representatives were taking questions after the State Department refused to allow the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, to testify before the committee.
Gaetz told reporters Schiff’s track record during the Trump administration has not inspired trust.
Check out excerpts from the news conference here. (At a little over two minutes, the whole thing is worth watching as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio speaks, but the Gaetz statement starts about the 1:35 mark.)
Gaetz reminded the media:
During the years of investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian “collusion” with the Trump campaign, Schiff repeatedly said he knew of evidence that never appeared.
When the “whistleblower” arose regarding Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine, Schiff was not honest about his committee staff’s contacts with the still-anonymous whistleblower. (He was so dishonest, in fact, that even the Trump-hating Washington Post noticed.)
And in a more recent twist, Schiff and his Democratic colleagues have held off on releasing the full testimony given last week by Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine.
Volker, who testified Thursday behind closed doors, contradicted the Democrats’ impeachment story on several counts, according to The Federalist.
And Gaetz and other House Republicans have had enough.
“We would sure like to see the Volker testimony released before we continue the depositions and transcribed interviews. And what we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court, and Chairman Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo,” Gaetz said.
“He lied about the Russia investigation, that he had more than circumstantial evidence,” Gaetz said.
“He lied about meeting with the whistleblower, prior to the whistleblower’s ultimate … writing of their complaint.
“We would like to unpack the last set of Schiff lies regarding the Volker testimony before we go to the next set of Schiff lies, on Sondland or any further witnesses,” Gaetz said.
To anyone paying attention, Schiff has established that he has — at best — a casual relationship with telling the truth.
And when Matt Gaetz called him on it Tuesday, it was a beautiful thing to see.
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