After President Trump engaged in a fit of third-grade humor this morning, referring to the incoming Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), as “little Adam Schitt,” the congressman struck back with a taunt that put what passes as a witticism for this president in its proper perspective — as the frustrated lashing out of a man who knows he’s cornered and that it’s only a matter of time before his laughing days are well behind him.
Wow, Mr. President, that’s a good one.
Was that like your answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions, or did you write this one yourself? https://t.co/Yd27sayt7C
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 18, 2018
Congressman Schiff is, of course referring to the president’s written answers to the questions submitted to him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia during the 2106 presidential election and the subsequent obstruction of that investigation by the administration.
Mueller agreed to accept written answers to his questions rather than battle the president and his legal team over a subpoena that could force him to answer the questions in person, a battle that would have likely stretched for months and wound up in front of the Supreme Court.
The Special Counsel’s willingness to accept written answers was a victory for Trump’s attorneys, particularly after his lead attorney John Dowd quit in frustration shortly after staging a mock interview between the president and someone stepping in to play the role of Mueller.
Trump has claimed that he has finished answering the questions proffered by the Special Counsel and improbably added that he himself did the writing, a notion that Rep, Schiff’s caustic tweet implicitly questioned.
“My lawyers aren’t working on it. I’m working on it,” Trump told The Washington Post. “My lawyers don’t write the answers.”
Ostensibly, many a wag would have it, his answers were transferred from their crayon originals and retyped for legibility by paralegals.
Representative Schiff, for his part, is focusing on a different set of questions altogether for the moment, that of the legality of Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.
“I think the appointment is unconstitutional,” Schiff told ABC‘s This Week, insisting that Whitaker’s appointment must be subjected to Senate confirmation before he is allowed to take the position.
While President Trump has never been very interested in how to win friends and influence people of the opposition party, his alienation from and name-calling of Congressman Schiff is not likely to be in his best interest.
With the levers of power Schiff will have at his disposal once he takes over as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in January, the California representative can make Trump’s life a living hell of constant investigatory torment.
Turnabout is fair play, as they say.
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Original reporting by Allan Smith at NBC News.