They Did Not Come to Play: Unimpressed and Unintimidated, House Intel Chairman Schiff Puts Trump Bigly On Notice

Last night, Donald Trump begged Congress to stop investigating him. He threatened to gum up legislative progress, he called it partisan, but basically, he begged Congress to stop pursuing his ties with Russia and his tax returns.

Democrats have now responded. The newly minted Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee began his day by holding a committee vote to send official transcripts of Trump officials, including that of DJT Jr., to Special Counsel Bob Mueller as the Committee’s first official act. Given that Mueller has already prosecuted people for lying to Congress, we can only imagine what’s coming next.

But Schiff - who Donald Trump once referred to on Twitter by replacing the last two letters of his name with t’s - was not content. At the conclusion of the meeting to release transcripts to Mueller, the Chairman announced that his committee would embark on a broad investigation of the Trump administration that will span well beyond Russian interference. The new investigation will look into whether Russia or other actors have influenced Trump administration decisions, especially given Trump’s habit of genuflecting before Putin. In a statement, Schiff laid out five primary areas of focus for his committee:

Now, in the 116th Congress, the Committee’s investigation will focus principally on five interconnected lines of inquiry, beginning with these incomplete or unexamined investigative threads:

(1)    The scope and scale of the Russian government’s operations to influence the U.S. political process, and the U.S. government’s response, during and since the 2016 election;

(2)    The extent of any links and/or coordination between the Russian government, or related foreign actors, and individuals associated with Donald Trump’s campaign, transition, administration, or business interests, in furtherance of the Russian government’s interests;

(3)    Whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates;

(4)    Whether President Trump, his family, or his associates are or were at any time at heightened risk of, or vulnerable to, foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion, or have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests; and

(5)    Whether any actors – foreign or domestic – sought or are seeking to impede, obstruct, and/or mislead authorized investigations into these matters, including those in the Congress.

Donald Trump, of course, freaked out. He called Schiff’s move “presidential harassment.” Well, let me go on record as being for this instance of presidential harassment. Anyone else?

Schiff, in response to Trump, said he understood the president’s fear, given how many of his associates have already pleaded or been found guilty.

Adam Schiff ain’t playing. Nancy Pelosi ain’t playing. The days of President Huff-and-Puff being able to stomp his feet through Congress are over.

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