Lee Zeldin blasts Adam Schiff’s ‘divisive’ impeachment inquiry

November 19, 2019

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) slammed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his handling of the “divisive” impeachment hearings on Monday. The Republican lawmaker was reacting to a speech that Schiff gave to Democrats in California this weekend, in which the partisan impeachment ringleader revealed his true colors, promising to send President Donald Trump “back to the golden throne he came from.”

“What you saw in that speech is — it’s really disgusting rhetoric, it’s divisive,” Zeldin said during an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “What we’ve seen from this entire impeachment charade is an effort that essentially, and eagerly, tears our country in half.”

Zeldin slams Schiff’s “disgusting” rhetoric

The three-term Foreign Affairs Committee Republican has emerged as a top defender of President Trump over the past few weeks. Asked for a reaction to a clip of Schiff trashing Trump as a “charlatan” who sits on a “golden throne,” Zeldin said that he would not follow somebody with Schiff’s poor character into battle and accused Democrats of dividing the country with their impeachment “charade.”

“Listen, my background’s in the military. There are a lot of great people in the military, I would follow into combat. If they were charging a hill I would follow them,” the Iraq war veteran said. “I would die for them. I’d fight with them. I would never want to have to charge a hill with Adam Schiff leading the charge.”

The hosts of “America’s Newsroom” played a clip of Schiff, in a tremulous voice quaking with the fervor of a #Resistance true believer, admitting that Democrats have wanted to remove Trump from office since day one, and that their opportunity has finally arrived. Schiff told the crowd at the California Democratic Party’s Fall Endorsing Convention on Saturday that Trump was a “threat” to democracy from “within:”

Two years ago I stood before you and I urged you to resist and you did. But we are more than a resistance now. We are a majority. We are a majority in one house and we will become the majority in the other. And we will send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from.

Zeldin blasted Schiff for distracting Congress from “focusing on important priorities for our constituents” and said that his rhetoric is “not helpful for our country, it’s divisive and it’s not bringing us together.”

Watch:

Zeldin: “Heck no” Trump should not testify

Asked whether Trump should take Pelosi’s offer to testify before Schiff’s committee or submit his defense in writing, Zeldin advised that Trump should not “lower himself” to Schiff’s level and that his testimony would likely be a waste of time. Zeldin compared the impeachment hearings to a famous internet GIF of a Hillary Clinton supporter screaming at the sky in anguish in 2016 and slyly suggested that Trump should submit his son’s book Triggered in lieu of testimony, saying that the book’s title explains why the impeachment hearings are happening at all.

A day before impeachment hearings were set to resume Tuesday, Zeldin sounded the alarm about a pair of closed-door depositions this weekend which he said directly “contradicted” the Democrat narrative that Trump extorted Ukraine to have them investigate his political rivals. The Republican lawmaker said that the hearings should be delayed until Schiff releases those exculpatory transcripts.

Schiff has played a leading role in the #Resistance’s efforts to remove Trump from office since he was elected in 2016. The Democrat repeatedly claimed without proof that Trump colluded with Russia, even after special counsel Robert Mueller discounted that charge.

Pelosi famously showed more restraint than Schiff, dismissing impeachment as needlessly “divisive” for months before abruptly reversing her stance in September. Republicans have pointed to Schiff’s leadership role in the impeachment hearings as proof of a process tainted by partisanship and have called on him to testify about his staff’s contacts with the “whistleblower.” Schiff has denied knowing the whistleblower’s identity.

Reacting to testimony from Alexander Vindman Tuesday morning, Zeldin said that Schiff was clearly lying after he interrupted Vindman, saying that the whistleblower must be “protected,” after Vindman mentioned an official from the intelligence community who he told about Trump’s phone call, but could not identify. Vindman claimed that he did not know the whistleblower, but ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) said that Vindman contradicted himself since he could not risk exposing the whistleblower without knowing who he is.

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.