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The House Intelligence Committee's Republican minority demanded Thursday that Rep. Adam Schiff, the panel's Democratic chairman, resign from that role over his handling of Russia investigations involving President Donald Trump.
Schiff, who has been one of special counsel Robert Mueller's leading advocates, laid out what called the "evidence of collusion" in a fiery response.
The call for Schiff to step down, submitted during a hearing in a letter signed by all nine of the committee's Republican members, came hours after Trump tweeted Thursday morning that Schiff "should be forced to resign from Congress!"
The letter states that Attorney General William Barr's summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's recently delivered Russia report, which says Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to establish that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, "conclusively" refutes Schiff's past and present claims.
Barr also said that Mueller did not conclude whether Trump obstructed justice, another facet of the probe. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein determined that the evidence was "not sufficient to establish" that Trump committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.
"Your actions both past and present are incompatible with your duty as Chairman of this committee," the Republicans tell Schiff in the letter. "As such we have no faith in your ability to discharge your duties in a manner consistent with your Constitutional responsibility and urge your immediate resignation as Chairman of this Committee."
Schiff shot back at his Republican colleagues in a lengthy speech. He highlighted the Russians' offer of damaging information on 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr.'s willingness to accept that "dirt," former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's offer of internal polling data to an allegedly Kremlin-linked source, and other allegations that had surfaced over the course of the Russia probe.
"You might say that's all OK. You might say that's just what you need to do to win. But I don't think its okay. I think it's immoral. I think it's unethical. And I think it is unpatriotic," Schiff said.
"And yes, I think it is corrupt," he added. "And evidence of collusion."