Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) struck back against calls for his resignation last week from the Republicans on the House Intelligence committee with a fiery address.

Schiff, speaking before the committee on Thursday morning in defiance of Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report, said that plenty of evidence of collusion exists. “I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic and yes, I think it’s corrupt — and evidence of collusion,” he said, referring to meetings of President Donald Trump staffers with Russians.

“My colleagues might think it’s ok that the Russians offered dirt on the Democratic candidate for president as part of what’s described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign,” he said. “My colleagues might think it’s ok that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help — no, instead that son said he would ‘love’ the help with the Russians. You might think it was ok that he took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s ok that they concealed it from the public. You might think it’s ok that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think it’s ok. I don’t.”

He wasn’t done there.

“You might think it’s ok that the president’s son-in-law sought to establish a secret back channel of communication with Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility,” he added. “I don’t think that’s ok. You might think it’s ok that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks. You might think it’s ok that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say, in terms of dirt on his opponent. You might think it’s ok that the national security adviser-designate secretly conferred with a Russian ambassador about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s ok he lied about it to the FBI. You might say that’s all ok, that that’s just what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s ok. I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is ok. The day we do think that’s ok is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way,” concluded Schiff.

The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Trump for has vowed to continue with more investigations despite Mueller’s much-anticipated report finding no such collusion.

The report did not reach “legal conclusions” on another crucial question — whether the president obstructed justice. Though, Attorney General William Barr, a Trump appointee, said the president would not be charged. A redacted version of the nearly 400-page report is expected to be released by mid-April.

Earlier that morning, Trump and all nine Republicans on the committee called for Schiff to resign, claiming he had abused his position to knowingly promote false information about Russian collusion.

The president accused Schiff of “knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking.”

Trump and other Republicans are mounting a ferocious revenge campaign against Schiff. They’re seeking payback against the high-profile lawmaker, who leads a committee investigating Russian interference in U.S. elections and coordination between U.S. citizens and the Russian government.

Moments after taking the stage at an explosive Michigan campaign rally on Thursday night, Trump mocked the California lawmaker as having the “smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen,” and someone who is “not a long-ball hitter.”

The official Trump campaign on Friday rolled out a T-shirt with an image of Schiff with a pencil for a neck and a red ball on his nose.

Trump’s attack on Schiff — who, during his frequent TV appearances, has been highlighting the evidence of Trump-Russia collusion for more than a year — came days after his eldest son and namesake used the same insult to demean the House Intelligence chair.

House Democrats are not in full agreement about how forcefully they want to continue to pursue the Russia matter now that Mueller has completed his report. But they are unanimous in their defense of Schiff and their insistence that Trump is not in the clear until they can see the full extent of the special counsel’s findings.

Schiff has won Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s support. She called Republicans “scaredy-cats” for attacking Schiff before the Mueller report is publicly released.

“What is the president afraid of? Is he afraid of the truth, that he would go after a member…a respected chairman of a committee in the Congress?” she asked. “They just don’t know what to do, so they have to make an attack.”


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