Don’t Believe the Hype: McCarthy Totally Dodged Questions About Holding Russiagaters Accountable

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy threw conservative media outlets into disarray on Tuesday, with many suggesting Representative Adam Schiff should be removed from Congress.

McCarthy’s comments came in response to a reporter asking what accountability looks like following the release of the Durham Report.

Durham’s report, details of which were released earlier this week, found that the FBI did not have enough “factual evidence” to investigate allegations of Trump-Russia collusion and revealed that they and the Department of Justice “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law.”

“You have pledged, if the GOP takes the majority in the House, that you would investigate the findings of the Durham investigation. Now that the report has been released, what does accountability look like?” a reporter asked.

McCarthy replied that House Republicans are looking to have Durham testify “so we can look at it more” and made the following comments about Democrat Adam Schiff:

“You remember when he told the American people he had proof? Remember when he told him he didn’t know the whistleblower and what he put America through and openly lied to us? And now it’s proven in this as well,” he continued.

“It raises a lot of questions about his character, his standing inside of Congress, or whether he should even be in Congress.”

RELATED: GOP Sen. Hawley Demands Prosecution of Democrats, Hillary Clinton After Durham Report Reveals FBI Used False Intelligence to Launch Trump-Russia Probe

Will McCarthy Kick Schiff Out of Congress?

Apologies for being a Debbie Downer here, but does anyone in their right mind think Kevin McCarthy has the intestinal fortitude to expel Adam Schiff from Congress? Or that he could whip up the two-thirds necessary to do so?

Even in the above video clip alone, there is some hedging.

Why does anybody have to “look at it more” with Durham’s testimony as McCarthy states, even as the report itself has “proven” Schiff  “openly lied”?

The report has been released to the public. His lies have been on record for years. His leaks have been readily transparent during that time. We’ve all seen it. It is “proven,” as McCarthy states.

Representative Schiff (D-CA) had repeatedly stated for years through friendly media outlets that there was “direct evidence” of collusion.

“I think there is direct evidence in the emails from the Russians through their intermediary offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what is described in writing as the Russian government effort to help elect Donald Trump,” Schiff said during a CBS interview in March of 2019.

Direct evidence. He knew there was no such thing but he fed it to the media regardless.

Schiff would also claim that he had “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion. He still hasn’t shown that alleged evidence.

Back in 2020, The Political Insider reported on transcripts of the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe showing Obama officials testifying time and again that they had no evidence of collusion.

Now, according to Durham, “The FBI had no information in its holding indicating that any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in contact with any Russian intelligence officials.”

But don’t you worry, the Speaker of the House and his fellow Republicans are going to “look at it more.”

And to show he’s super-serious about holding Schiff accountable, McCarthy has issued a strongly worded … tweet. A tweet showing a letter from the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government inviting Durham to testify next week.

“If you’re concerned about threats to our democracy, you are right to be angry over the coordinated campaign to lie to the American public for years about Russia collusion—peddled at the highest levels of government, from Adam Schiff to the DOJ—to try to influence an election,” McCarthy wrote.

“This is why Republicans created a @Weaponization Committee—to get to the bottom of this abuse of power and bring accountability.”

RELATED: Transcripts Show Obama Officials Admitting Time After Time They Had No Evidence Of Russia Collusion

If You Can Dodge a Wrench, You Can Dodge Accountability

It would appear Kevin McCarthy’s big plan to deal with one of the biggest peddlers of Russian collusion misinformation – misinformation that would dog President Trump for years and undermine the entirety of his administration – is to have Durham testify about his already published report, hold committee hearings, tweet about them, and of course, “look at it more.”

Willing to bet he’ll even send out some fundraising emails. That’ll put Schiff in his place.

In an interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, McCarthy continued to dodge on what accountability looks like.

“Will there be accountability here?” she asked.

“There has to be,” McCarthy replied, but failing to note what form that would take.

“Maria, it’s not just me who knew. You knew it. And you got criticized for speaking the truth. And that’s what’s wrong. Is CNN talking about this? Is the White House talking about this?”

Why would they talk about it? They know Republicans will kick the can down the road with letters and hearings but with ultimately nobody being held accountable for their actions.

“Why is this individual still in Congress?” McCarthy asked, seemingly unaware that he, as Speaker of the House, is obviously the most powerful person in a position to do something about it.

Do you know who might want to look into that? Somebody with the ability to call into action Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution which states “each House may … punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.”

Prove you mean what you say, Speaker McCarthy. Call a vote. Even if it fails … do something. Force the media to talk about the vote, to talk about Schiff’s lies.

Oh, and as luck would have it, Representative Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) on Wednesday introduced a resolution to have Schiff expelled from Congress.

“The Durham Report makes clear that the Russian Collusion was a lie from day one and Schiff knowingly used his position in an attempt to divide our country,” Paulina said in a statement.

She added that Schiff “is a dishonor to the House of Representatives.”

Paulina is taking appropriate action. Will McCarthy back her up?

To his credit, the Speaker did remove Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee earlier this year for leaking classified information in order to propagate the Russia collusion hoax.

“Schiff has lied to the American public,” he succinctly stated.

Now he’s got even more proof. Perhaps we’ve moved past the ‘let’s look into it more’ phase, Mr. Speaker.

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Durham’s FBI-Trump report fuels House GOP ‘weaponization’ attacks

House Republicans say the long-awaited report from special counsel John Durham bolsters their arguments that federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been “weaponized” against political enemies — a theme that has been a major defining belief of their new majority. 

“The long-awaited Durham Report confirmed what the American people already know; that individuals at the highest levels of government attempted to overthrow democracy when they illegally weaponized the federal government against Donald J. Trump,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) said in a statement.

The report found that federal authorities did not have sufficient information to open their “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Durham did not recommend any charges to the FBI in his report but said that the agency was “seriously deficient” in how it handled some aspects of the investigation, including relying on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence.” 

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) quoted from the report in a press conference Tuesday, raising alarm about its assertion that “the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law” and that it identified an FBI agent who knowingly made misrepresentations to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

“Where’s the accountability for this? Who’s going to be held accountable? These are the questions we’re going to continue to ask,” Scalise said.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) invited Durham to speak to his panel’s select subcommittee on government weaponization — created at the request of the right flank ahead of the tumultuous election of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — at the end of the month.

Many House GOP members, including those serving on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, said that they had not yet read the more than 300-page report released Monday, when many were focused on the debt ceiling negotiations.

Yet several Republicans said that the report essentially confirmed their own biases.

“We all already believed or knew what was in there,” said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). “It's like, ‘Yeah, see? We told you so.’”

McCarthy told The Hill that Republicans already knew about the things that were “so appalling.”

“They took the entire country through this, impeachment, everything else, when we knew the FBI never should have done this from the very beginning,” McCarthy said.

Democrats, for their part, criticized the report for not offering enough new information.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that the report amounted to “a political rehashing of what the Justice Department Inspector General already made public in 2019.” 

“Mr. Durham has, one last time, over promised and under delivered,” Nadler said before referencing special counsel Robert Mueller, who released a report in 2019 on his investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

“Nothing in this report changes the outcome of the Mueller investigation, which resulted in multiple convictions, found more than one hundred contacts between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government, and substantial reason to believe that Donald Trump had committed obstruction of justice,” Nadler said.

The report from Durham is likely to affect how House Republicans legislate, and may also play a role in the GOP presidential primary.

“The report confirms that FBI personnel repeatedly disregarded critical protections established to protect the American people from unlawful surveillance,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Such actions should never have occurred, and it is essential that Congress codifies clear guardrails that prevent future FBI abuses and restores the public’s trust in our law enforcement institutions.”

The FBI is getting ahead of calls for change, releasing a five-page letter responding to Durham that details recent reforms.

“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time,” the FBI said in a statement. “Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.”

One area likely to be affected by the politics of the Durham report is Congress’s reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows for warrantless surveillance of foreigners outside the United States, even as they communicate with U.S. citizens within the U.S. — thus allowing intelligence agencies to pick up citizen communications without a warrant.

“I can assure you, 702 — that is not going to get rubber-stamped,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “We’ve got to have a serious reboot or elimination of what we're seeing through FISA 702.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also said that the Durham report will probably affect FISA reauthorization.

In a Twitter thread, Crenshaw said there “must be consequences” based on the findings of the report.

“This report demonstrates how unelected, subversive actors within the highest levels of our government sought to destroy a duly-elected president they hated. They weaponized a lie – knowing the media would breathlessly regurgitate that lie – in order to take Donald Trump out of the White House,” Crenshaw said.