ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona lawmaker calling for censure of House Intelligence chairman

Sep 27, 2019, 1:30 PM | Updated: 1:39 pm
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions Acting Director of Nati...
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire,as he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

PHOENIX — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called it a parody.

An Arizona congressman is calling it a “blatantly false” statement deserving of rebuke.

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs on Friday introduced a motion to censure Schiff over comments the Democrat made during Thursday’s hearing with Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire regarding the whistleblower report about President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s leader.

“Yesterday in the hearing, (Schiff) read a statement that was blatantly false, had no corresponding evidence, nor relationship to the actual transcript of President Trump’s telephone conversation with the Ukrainian president last July,” Biggs said in a video posted to Twitter.

Biggs was referring to Schiff’s summary of the phone call during the hearing, in which he mimicked the president: “This is the essence of what the president communicates: We’ve been very good to your country. Very good.

“No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here,” he said.

He continued speaking as Trump, asking the Ukrainian president to “make up dirt on my political opponent.”

“You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times in a few more ways. And by the way, don’t call me again; I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked,” Schiff said.

Later in the hearing, after getting criticized by other committee members, Schiff described his comments as parody not meant to be taken as an exact version of the phone call.

“The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself,” he said.

“Of course, the president never said, ‘If you don’t understand me, I’m going to say it seven more times.’ My point is that’s the message that the Ukraine president was receiving, in not so many words.”

Trump called for Schiff to resign in a tweet Friday, referring to his statements as “fraud.”

Schiff responded on Twitter, saying Trump’s “words and deeds mock themselves.”

“You engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country,” Schiff said. “And then you tried to cover it up.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry over the whistleblower complaint Tuesday.

The complaint alleges that Trump abused the power of his office by asking Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over allegations of corruption.

The whistleblower also accuses the White House of making efforts to “lock down” details of the call.

Trump authorized the release of a summary of the phone call to the public Wednesday, and the whistleblower complaint was released Thursday.

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Arizona lawmaker calling for censure of House Intelligence chairman