By Ron Kampeas |
WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump accused Rep. Adam Schiff, the Jewish Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, of treason and called for his arrest.
“Shifty Schiff” is a “lowlife,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “He should resign from office in disgrace and frankly they should look at him for treason.”
Trump repeatedly made similar statements in recent days on Twitter, charging that Schiff, of California, had a read “fake” statement during an Intelligence Committee hearing last week and calling for his arrest.
The president’s attacks come amid an escalating impeachment fight over his effort to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic contender to face Trump in 2020. Three House committees handling the impeachment inquiry threatened to subpoena the White House for documents related to Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.
“Over the past several weeks, the Committees tried several times to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents, but the White House has refused to engage with — or even respond to — the Committees,” according to a memo signed Wednesday by Schiff as well as Eliot Engel of New York and Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the chairs of the Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, respectively.
Attached to the memo was a draft subpoena that a news release said would become formal on Friday absent White House compliance.
Trump’s fury was stoked by Schiff’s parody of the July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during an Intelligence Committee hearing last week. Schiff mocked Trump as a crime boss engaged in “a classic organized crime shakedown.”