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Rep. Matt Gaetz files ethics complaint against Adam Schiff


Congressman Gaetz accuses Chairman Schiff of 'unprofessional and divisive behavior'

Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) announced Wednesday that he has filed a formal complaint against fellow congressman and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), accusing his colleague of several instances of "unprofessional and divisive behavior."

Schiff has been a longtime critic of President Donald Trump, and has taken the lead in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into the president.

What are the details?

Gaetz announced on Twitter, "Today I filed an ethics complaints against @RepAdamSchiff for:

-Distorting @POTUS's call with President Zelensky

-Lying to the public about 'Russian Collusion'

-Blocking Members of Congress from attending impeachment depositions."

The Republican added, "Schiff must be held accountable."

In Gaetz's letter to the Ethics Committee — who have been quite busy the past few weeks — he referred to Schiff's self-described "parody" account of a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a "wildly-inaccurate and distorted 'retelling'" that "grossly misrepresent[ed] the content of the call to the American people."

Gaetz also pointed to a March 2017 interview where "Mr. Schiff claimed to have 'more than circumstantial evidence' of President Trump and his campaign 'colluding' with Russia."

The Florida congressman continued, "As the report from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has made clear, Mr. Schiff's claim was baseless and untrue; to date, Chairman Schiff has not justified his statement."

Rep. Gaetz also argued that ""Mr. Schiff's unprofessional and divisive behavior has caused conflict within the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence," noting that "every Republican on the committee signed a letter requesting Chairman Schiff's immediate resignation, citing his 'willingness to continue to promote a demonstrably false narrative.'"

A Schiff spokesman reacted to Gaetz's complaint in a statement to Fox News, saying, "We don't think anyone takes Mr. Gaetz seriously, especially on the subject of ethics."

Anything else?

The Washington Examiner reported that Gaetz's complaint against Schiff "could usher an end to a decades-long bipartisan ethics détente," explaining that "House lawmakers have seldom filed ethics complaints, particularly across party lines, after the two sides agreed to end a partisan ethics war that consumed Congress more than two decades ago."

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