Schiff rips Trump: Not acting on Russian election interference is 'dereliction of duty'

Schiff rips Trump: Not acting on Russian election interference is 'dereliction of duty'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive things to know about Tuesday's impeachment hearings Nunes complains Democrats adding extra time for questioning witnesses Volker says he rejected Biden 'conspiracy theory' pushed by Giuliani MORE (D-Calif.) fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE for accusing the Obama administration of investigating his campaign to help Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats ask judge for quick ruling on McGahn subpoena Hillary Clinton: 'Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency' The Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race MORE, saying Trump’s own failure to act on Russian election interference is a “dereliction of duty.”

“The FBI investigation began when it was discovered that the Russians had secret discussions with your foreign policy advisor about dissemination of stolen Clinton emails,” Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted at Trump on Monday.

Trump in a tweet earlier in the day had accused the Obama administration of trying to undermine his campaign, calling it “bigger than Watergate.”


Schiff also hit Trump for claiming that former President Obama “did nothing” about the Russian election interference, asking Trump how he can “criticize Obama for not doing more, when you do absolutely nothing?”

“No cabinet meeting devoted to protecting 2018 elections from foreign interference. Bipartisan sanctions to punish and deter Russian meddling sitting in your desk drawer for months. $120 million allocated by Congress to fight Russian propaganda unspent,” the Democrat continued.

“This is dereliction of duty,” he added.





Schiff was referring to a New York Times report that the State Department had not spent any of the $120 million it received to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections.

Trump declined to implement new sanctions against Russia earlier this year, despite Congress passing a bipartisan bill giving him the power to do so.

A State Department spokesperson said at the time that the passage of the legislation was deterrent enough, and that the sanctions did not have to actually be imposed.

U.S. Cyber Command chief Adm. Michael Rogers, who also serves as director of the National Security Agency, testified before the Senate late last month that he had not received orders from Trump to stop Russian cyberattacks targeting U.S. elections.

“I need a policy decision that indicates there is specific direction to do that,” Rogers said at the time. “The president ultimately would make this decision in accordance with a recommendation from the secretary of Defense.”

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSpeier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' Comey: Mueller 'didn't succeed in his mission because there was inadequate transparency' MORE charged 13 Russians and three Russian organizations last month with interfering in the U.S. presidential election.