Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) got into a heated back-and-forth with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on the House floor Thursday over allegations surrounding the Trump-Russia probe and questionable overseas business deals involving presidential son Hunter Biden, a report claimed.
At one point, Comer accused Schiff, who is head of the House Intelligence Committee, of continuing to “peddle” claims in an attempt to cast aspersions at former President Donald Trump over that past several years, as Schiff claimed the Kentucky Republican was ignoring alleged actions by Trump allies in support of him.
At another point, after Comer accused Schiff of ignoring Hunter Biden’s business dealings, the California Democrat attempted to refocus on past accusations against Donald Trump Jr.
The exchange came as lawmakers debated the Protecting Our Democracy Act, a Democrat-led piece of legislation that seeks to limit presidential authorities as a response to actions that Trump took while he was in office, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Every time Chairman Schiff rises to speak on a bill about intelligence and security and holding the president accountable, I get excited hoping we’re going to hear about that evidence of collusion and all the other investigations that were conducted in the House,” Comer, who is the ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said.
Schiff went on to defend an investigation by the Intelligence Committee that he led after taking over as chairman following the 2018 midterms, which saw Democrats recapture control of the House.
“Are you aware that the president’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, met with an agent of Russian intelligence and provided Russian intelligence with internal campaign polling data, as well as strategic insights about their intelligence in key battleground states? Are you aware of that?” Schiff replied.
“I think everyone is aware of every bit of information that you have tried to peddle over the last four years,” Comer snapped back.
“Are you aware that while the Trump campaign chairman was providing internal polling data, that Kremlin intelligence was leading a clandestine social media campaign to elect Donald Trump?” Schiff questioned in reply.
“I think we see every day … Facebook just announced that Russia was trying to do a Facebook campaign in Ukraine, if I remember reading that correctly,” Comer fired back.
Several investigations into alleged ‘collusion’ between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the election have come up empty, to include a lengthy probe by former special counsel Robert Mueller, who indicted Manafort on unrelated charges. Mueller’s team concluded in a final report that investigators never found any evidence to substantiate the claim.
Comer then shifted focus to Hunter Biden, who has been involved in several questionable deals in Ukraine and China, some of which, according to reports, may have involved kickbacks to his father, President Joe Biden.
“Are you aware of President Biden’s son Hunter’s art dealings? Are you aware of the president’s son’s dealings … in Congo with the cobalt mine? Are you aware of the dealings in Ukraine?” Comer asked Schiff.
“I am aware of President Trump’s son meeting secretly in Trump Tower New York with a Russian delegation with the purpose of receiving dirt on Hillary Clinton, which the Russian delegation represented was part of the Russian government’s effort to help elect Donald Trump in 2016,” Schiff said.
“And I am aware that … Donald Trump Jr. said in response to that Russian offer of dirt on Donald Trump’s opponent that he would love it, suggested the best time would be in late summer, and had a secret meeting in Trump Tower. And when asked about that secret meeting, both the president and his son lied about it. Are you aware about those facts?” Schiff continued.
“I think that everyone’s seen all the information, again, that you all have peddled,” Comer said. “I’m curious if you would like to make a wager on which president’s child, which president’s son, at the end of the day, once we have the gavel, will … be the most security risk to our nation.”
“I’m happy to continue to outline the contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, their solicitation of Russian help in the election, the former president’s effort to coerce Ukraine into helping him cheat in the election,” Schiff responded.
“They have spent a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of tax dollars on trying to peddle a lot of wrongdoing in the previous administration,” Comer replied.
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