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Adam Schiff’s past effort to fan Russia collusion tale boomerangs in California Senate bid

Steve Garvey, 10-time MLB all-star first baseman and four-time Gold Glove winner, is slugging it out with Rep. Adam Schiff.

Published: January 27, 2024 11:21pm

Updated: January 28, 2024 8:22am

Rep. Adam Schiff’s past effort to fan the Russia collusion tale is boomeranging as he now seeks the vacant U.S.Senate seat in California.

Former MLB star Steve Garvey, now a GOP candidate, accused Schiff, D-Calif., of lying to the public on the debate stage this week, prompting Schiff to claim he was censured for "standing up to a corrupt President."

Garvey and Schiff are among the candidates in the race for the Senate seat held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. 

In the California primary election, the two candidates who receive the most votes head to the general election for a head-to-head match-up in November.  A recent poll released by Emerson College found 25% of respondents said they would vote for Schiff and Garvey was in second place with 18%.

"I called out Adam Schiff for being censured for lying to 300 million Americans. His response: 'I would do it all over again,'" Garvey wrote Thursday on X.  Schiff was censured in a resolution stating that Schiff held positions of power during Trump’s presidency and “abused this trust by saying there was evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.” There was no such evidence. 

Schiff had drawn attention to himself throwing the "Russian collusion" narrative at anyone who opposed him. At one point, he accused on live television then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson of "being a Russian agent" and said to Carlson, according to New York Magazine, “You’re carrying water for the Kremlin!”

Schiff ignored the question of throwing the "Russian agent" allegations around, and instead deflected with comments arguing that Garvey supports allowing states to ban abortion.

During the candidate debate, Garvey said to Schiff, "Sir, you lied to 300 million people. You can't take that back." Schiff shot back, "I was censured for standing up to a corrupt president and you know something? I would do it all over again."

After the exchange, Garvey said when elected officials "talk down to us" they're "essentially misleading us."

Garvey also said the American people "understand what's real and unreal."

The censure resolution that passed the GOP-led House charged Schiff with abusing the trust of the American public when he was chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

According to the resolution, Schiff falsely claimed that "evidence of collusion that, as is clear from reports by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and Special Counsel Durham, never existed." The resolution also noted that on September 26, 2019, Schiff "misled the public by reading a false retelling of a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky." 

Schiff became notorious as one of the loudest proponents vouching for the now widely-discredited "Steele Dossier." Even after the infamous dossier was proven to be false, Schiff stuck by it, telling NBC's Chuck Todd that “Steele did reveal that the Russians were trying to help elect Donald Trump."   

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy removed Schiff from the Intelligence Committee in January 2023. The resolution passed the House in June. 

In a separate exchange, Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., another candidate for the open Senate seat, argued that earmarks "invite corruption."

Schiff defended earmarks, saying Feinstein brought back billions for California from Washington and he would do the same.

Porter shot back: "Incorrect, the earmarks process actually shortchanges California. The data show that diverse districts and diverse states actually get half as much money. We only get two senators, which means every state gets two sets of earmarks."