- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Rep. Matt Gaetz asked the House Ethics Committee to open an investigation of Rep. Adam B. Schiff, accusing the California Democrat of lying to the public.

The Florida Republican took to Twitter to post the letter he sent to the Democrat-led panel outlining his case for an investigation and demanding that “Schiff must be held accountable.”

The complaint accused Mr. Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, of distorting President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, of lying about the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and of keeping Mr. Gaetz and other members of Congress out of a non-public impeachment hearing.

“Chairman Schiff has abused his authority and seems to believe that the rules of the House of Representatives do not apply to him,” Mr. Gaetz said in a separate statement. “We cannot have a multi-tiered justice system in the United States or in the Congress. His egregious behavior must change immediately.”

The request will almost certainly fall on deaf ears, as both parties in the House have dug in their partisan heels on matters related to Mr. Trump, impeachment, relations with Ukraine and Russia, and the investigations thereof.

“We don’t think anyone takes Mr. Gaetz seriously, especially on the subject of ethics,” Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Mr. Schiff, said in a statement to Fox News.

In his letter to the Ethics panel, Mr. Gaetz noted that during an intelligence committee hearing in September, Mr. Schiff “gave a wildly-inaccurate and distorted ‘retelling’” of the phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.”

Mr. Schiff claimed his recounting of the conversation was a parody. But he did not label it that at the time and only pleaded satirical intent after having been called on its falseness, prompting some conservative news outlets to say Mr. Schiff was trying to create “facts” and a narrative that would shape everything else before he’d have to walk it back.

Mr. Gaetz’s note also cited Mr. Schiff’s repeated claims throughout the investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that he had “more than circumstantial evidence” that the Trump campaign was “colluding” with the Kremlin.

Special counsel Robert Mueller found no such evidence.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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