A prank call by Russian deejays fished in Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., but a Republican challenging him for his House seat doesn’t think the call, in which Schiff expressed eagerness to get “compromising material” on President Trump, is a laughing matter.
Jon Hollis, who is running for the Los Angeles-area seat held by Schiff since 2001, has filed an ethics complaint against his opponent based on the 2017 call, in which a phony Ukrainian politician claimed to have graphic photos of the then newly-inaugurated President Trump.
“This letter serves as an official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) regarding Rep. Adam Schiff’s illegal collusion with foreign entities and misuse of taxpayer resources for opposition research on political enemies,” one complaint, dated Aug. 28 and filed by Jon Hollis, a Republican challenger for the seat in California’s 28th Congressional District, stated. “The evidence supporting Adam’s Schiff’s violations of the law is compelling and irrefutable.”
The filing primarily points to that wincing 2017 call that continues to haunt.
At the time, Schiff assumed he was talking with Ukrainian politician Andriy Parubiy, who solicited potentially damaging information and compromising pictures of Trump from his visit to Russia for the Miss Universe pageant four years earlier.
Schiff stressed in the call that he would “be in touch with the FBI” to make arrangements with regard to accessing the supposedly explicit materials and cautioned the voice on the other end not to divulge anything he would not want “our Russian friends” to hear, warning that they were likely listening.
However, in reality, the then-ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee was conversing with someone far from the political powers of Kiev. Instead, he was being pranked by two Russian comedians — Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov. Schiff became chairman of the committee this year.
“It is clear from the recorded phone call that Rep. Schiff knows he should not be trying to obtain opposition research on a political opponent from foreign nationals. He attempts to mask his wrongdoing by, on numerous occasions, mentioning that he will work with the FBI,” Hollis asserted in the letter. “In so doing, Rep. Schiff is attempting to involve the FBI in his corrupt attempt to obtain dirt on President Trump. The FBI should not be in the business of teaming up with politicians to use the power of government to dig up dirt on political opponents.”
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