Republican leaders on Capitol Hill must demand that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., immediately recuse himself from the impeachment inquiry. There simply cannot be fair, impartial and legitimate impeachment proceedings with a known partisan and conspiracy theorist like Schiff at the helm of such a serious undertaking.
And serious it is. In a democracy, we have free elections. Voters select their leaders — including the president of the United States. No self-respecting American should allow their constitutionally enshrined vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election to be overturned by corrupt deep-state operatives and corrupt politicians — especially those with a documented history of lying.
After all, it was Schiff who went on TV hundreds of times the past few years spreading damaging propaganda and conspiracy theories about the president and his administration, accusing them of colluding with Russians to steal the 2016 election. Schiff insisted repeatedly there was ample evidence of such collusion, yet after a thorough 22-month special counsel investigation, no evidence was found — or charges brought — against the president or his associates for conspiracy.
That alone is enough to disqualify Schiff — an extreme partisan and Trump-hater — from the impeachment proceedings.
Add to it that Schiff recently lied about having any contact with the whistleblower, whose complaint filed with the Intelligence Community inspector general in August was the catalyst for the impeachment mess that's tearing our country apart. Turns out Schiff's office did consult — if not coach — the whistleblower on how to file his/her complaint with authorities unbeknownst to Congress. Schiff then hid this information from the media when asked, earning him 4 Pinnochios by The Washington Post.
Then there's Schiff's televised late-September spectacle before Congress with millions of Americans and media watching. He manufactured what was said during the president's July phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Instead of reading directly from the official transcript the president swiftly released, Schiff literally made stuff up and acted out a parody.
Someone please inform the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that attempting to nullify the votes of the 63 million Americans who elected the president isn't a comedy skit on "Saturday Night Live."
If the president said anything that rose to "high crimes and misdemeanors" during the controversial phone call, why didn't the liberal lawmaker just read verbatim from the transcript?
It's because there was no there there. So Schiff lied and inserted his own opinions and embellishments, further eroding his credibility — something he vanquished during the #RussiaHoax.
And then there's the California congressman's glaring hypocrisy. In 2017, he tweeted: "Have concluded Sessions must step down. His testimony was misleading, his explanation not credible and an independent prosecutor is needed," referring to Trump's former attorney general, whom Schiff and other Democrats demanded recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
In the spirit of fairness, if an attorney general must recuse himself from an important investigation for allegedly misleading the public, why not Schiff for doing the same? Shouldn't he be living by the same standards he imposes on others?
But wait! There's more.
Also during the Russia probe into the 2016 election, Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other Democrats demanded former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., recuse himself for allegedly withholding information from committee members, conducting secret meetings with the White House and other misgivings. In 2017, Pelosi issued a statement saying: "Speaker Ryan must insist that Chairman Nunes at least recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation immediately. That leadership is long overdue."
Again, Democrats and Republican members of Congress should hold Schiff to the same standard as Nunes. A failure to do so will further convince voters the entire impeachment inquiry is exactly what Trump says it is: a partisan witch hunt, warranting its termination.
From what we've seen so far, there needs to be an intervention. Schiff must go.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.