Tea Party Patriots File Complaint Against Schiff for ‘Inquiry Into Multiple Violations' of Ethics Rules

Kharen Martinez Murcia | October 11, 2019 | 2:11pm EDT
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Tea Party Patriots Honorary
Chairman Jenny Beth Martin.
(Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com)  -- The Tea Party Patriots Action group filed an ethics complaint on Oct. 8 “requesting an inquiry into multiple violations of House ethics rules by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.),” who is currently leading the impeachment effort against President Donald Trump.

The complaint, filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics, states that Schiff violated Ethics Rule XXIII of the Code of Official Conduct. It claims that Schiff “has lied publicly and to the media” about his alleged interactions with the “whistleblower” who complained about Trump’s Ukraine phone call.

The complaint also says that Schiff fabricated testimony before the committee, and that he previously “used and abused his position” on the Intelligence Committee “to seek damaging and negative information about President Trump from Ukrainian sources.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)   (Getty Images)

Further, the complaint includes a Washington Post “fact checker” article that gave Schiff “four Pinocchios,” documenting how he made a false statement that his committee had not spoken to the whistleblower before he (or she) approached the Intelligence Community inspector general.

Jenny Beth Martin, honorary chairman of the Tea Party Patriots, said, “Mr. Schiff should be publicly censured for his illegal actions, and should lose his chairmanship due to his self-serving abuse of his position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”

“He has used his position to investigate the leadership of a rival political party while claiming it is his oversight duty – this is a fundamental lie,” said Martin. “His oversight responsibility includes ensuring that U.S. intelligence agencies do not operate domestically to influence U.S. elections – not drumming up fabricated whistleblower accounts to influence the 2020 election.”

“His actions have undermined the public trust in our valued intelligence services, and caused lasting damage to the reputation of the intelligence services,” she said. “He can no longer be chairman.”

“The Office of Congressional Ethics has an obligation to investigate actions by Members of Congress that fail to reflect creditably on the House, and we certainly hope they will exercise their responsibility here.” said Martin.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) is “an independent, non-partisan entity” that reviews allegations of misconduct brought against “members, officers, and staff of the United States House of Representatives.” If the OCE thinks a case warrants action, it takes the matter to the House Committee of Ethics. All OCE investigations are private.

“The Board shall authorize a preliminary review where there is a "reasonable basis" to believe an allegation.” explains the OCE about the process. “However, this determination does not constitute a finding that a violation has actually occurred.”

In the article from the Washington Post used in the complaint, Chairman Schiff said, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to. But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised as the law requires.”

(Photo by Drew Angerer, Getty Images)

Aside from allegedly lying about meeting the whistleblower, the complaint also says that Schiff “fabricated the testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”

“Congressman Schiff created a make-believe transcript of the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and then presented it at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on impeachment while acting as if this were an actual transcript,” Martin said.

“If creating false evidence against the president at a congressional hearing does not rise to the level of an ethics inquiry, I'm not sure what would qualify,” she said.

Despite several phone calls and emails to his office by CNSNews.com, Chairman Schiff did not respond to inquiries about the ethics complaint.

The Tea Party’s complaint was received by the OCE, but they have not made a statement yet on whether it will be sent to the House Ethics Committee.

“We are evaluating possible next steps,” Martin told CNSNews.com.  “We are certainly going to keep the pressure on Speaker Pelosi to strip Schiff of his chairmanship.”

To read the ethics complaint, click here.

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