California Rep. Adam Schiff grabbed the national spotlight Monday when he was given 15 minutes to present a case accusing President Donald Trump’s campaign of colluding with Russian officials to meddle with the 2016 presidential election.
Schiff, who was elected to Congress in 2000 and is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, took the time to lay out a blistering attack against Trump, naming campaign workers and other associates whom he claims have ties that are too close for comfort with various Russian officials and those who support them.
On Wednesday, Schiff was in the spotlight again when he attacked the HPSCI chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, (R-California), for announcing publicly that it is likely that some of Trump’s communications ended up being “captured” during routine surveillance operations. That information, Nunes said, included names of the people involved in those conversations and those names, he claims, were shared among intelligence organizations.
Schiff responded with his own press conference, claiming that Nunes had “tainted” the investigation into Russian interference in the election and now only a special prosecutor could fairly look into the accusations.
Who is Adam Schiff and how did he get to this position? Here are a few things you may not know about him.
- He is an attorney. He graduated from Harvard.
- He wasn’t a shoo-in for Congress. He lost three elections to the California State House before being elected to the state Senate. He was then elected to the U.S. House in 2001.
- He may run for Sen. Diane Feinstein’s Senate seat if she retires in 2018.
- As the ranking member of the HPSCI, he’s a member of the “Gang of Eight.” In that role, he is privy to high-level intelligence information. By law, he receives information about intelligence from the White House.
- He is on leave from the House Appropriations Committee, and served on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
- He voted for the Patriot Act, and also has sponsored animal rights legislation.
- He’s married. His wife’s name is Eve. The couple have two children.