Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse GOP leaders urge 'no' vote on Bannon contempt Cheney presses Republicans to back Bannon contempt vote Judge grants another sentencing delay to Gaetz associate, but says it will be his last MORE (R-Fla.), one of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday introduced a bill to remove Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffParis Hilton takes to Capitol Hill to advocate for troubled teen care reform Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt Press: Steve Bannon behind bars in Capitol basement? MORE (D-Calif.) as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The Florida Republican introduced the Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses Act, or PENCIL Act, a nod to Trump’s insults calling the California lawmaker “little pencil neck Adam Schiff.”
Schiff has been one of the president’s most vociferous detractors and has spearheaded House Democrats’ efforts to investigate any possible ties the president may have with Russia.
The proposal claims that Schiff “can no longer be trusted by his colleagues in Congress or the American people” and that he “has repeatedly slandered President Donald J. Trump by falsely claiming he colluded with Russia to win the presidency.” It also calls for Schiff to have his security clearance withdrawn.
#BREAKING: Today I filed the “PENCIL Act,” expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that “Congressman Adam Schiff should be removed from the House Intelligence Committee and his security clearance immediately revoked.” pic.twitter.com/1FsMt6NUjr— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) April 11, 2019
Due to his perch on the Intelligence Committee, Schiff is also part of the Gang of Eight, a group of senior lawmakers with access to top-secret intelligence information.
Republicans have hit Schiff with an avalanche of criticism since Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE released a four-page summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.
Barr said Mueller's core findings did not find sufficient evidence to charge anyone associated with Trump’s campaign with conspiring with Russia.
A number of Intelligence Committee members called for Schiff to step down or resign from Congress following the summary report.
“It is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congressman Adam Schiff should be removed from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House and that his security clearance should be revoked immediately,” the resolution said.
Schiff has so far dismissed the GOP attacks, saying that Trump’s conduct in office and during the campaign was unacceptable even if it was not criminal.
“I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And yes, I think it’s corrupt,” Schiff said at a committee hearing last month.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Navy probe reveals disastrous ship fire response GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Calif.) backed Schiff.
“I’m so proud of the work of Chairman Adam Schiff, in stark contrast to the irresponsible, almost criminal behavior of the previous chair of the committee,” Pelosi said in Schiff’s defense during a press conference last month, referring to the past chairmanship of Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Pelosi announces date for infrastructure vote; administration defends immigration policies LIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans MORE (R-Calif.), another staunch Trump ally.