Rep. Michael McCaul is not known as a bombastic speaker. McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, spoke with Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” host Bill Hemmer yesterday about the behavior of House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. McCaul spoke uncharacteristically harshly about Schiff’s role in leaking selected tidbits from the hearings – selected to favor the Democrats.

“I think they were complicit in working with the whistleblower to come forward with his complaint and start this entire impeachment inquiry,” he said.

“I think that’s why Adam Schiff is so protective of the whistleblowers[sic] because he is concerned about the truth that will come out if we get access to him,” McCaul continued.

McCaul doubled down on his accusations by continuing to accuse Schiff of collusion and said the Democrats’ evidence doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment.

McCaul doubled down on his accusations by continuing to accuse Schiff of collusion and said the Democrats’ evidence doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment.

“The best evidence is the [Ukraine] phone call itself, which I don’t think is worthy of an impeachment proceeding,” he said. “My theory is that Adam Schiff and his staff had access to the whistleblower and were complicit with this complaint being filed, which started this entire charade — this entire impeachment inquiry.”That’s why Adam Schiff is so protective of the whistleblowers[sic] because he is concerned about the truth that will come out if we get access to him,” McCaul continued.

Normally his manner of speaking is non-controversial. It was a surprise to hear him publicly call Schiff “complicit” in working with bringing a whistleblower forward so that impeachment inquiry hearings would move ahead. That accomplished, on Wednesday McCaul said Schiff is making a charade of the impeachment hearings.He addressed the gag rule – Republicans are not free to speak about the information coming from the hearings. This makes it easy for Schiff to leak whatever he wants and Republicans can’t refute it with their own selected testimony from the witnesses in the hearings.

“Well, we’re always told we have a gag rule. If we talk about the substance we have an ethics complaint filed on us. Yet it is very interesting that Adam Schiff and his team can selectively leak out information, leak out opening statements, leak out selective testimony that is to their advantage while not being transparent and giving the entire testimony to the American people. That’s what we’ve been objecting to, Bill, from day one is how secretive this process is- the most secret room in the United States Capitol. This should be an open hearing, full and transparent, with due process and it is not.”

McCaul accused Schiff of collusion and the evidence just doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment. He said that Republicans haven’t objected to questioning by Democrats yet Democrats have shut down questioning from Republicans.

“We haven’t objected to any of their questioning, but on the other hand Adam Schiff continues to shut down Republicans’ lines of questioning on important issues in terms of who was privy to the phone call, who was with the whistleblower. Anything close to the whistleblower gets shut down.”

McCaul continues to call for Democrats to uphold longstanding bipartisan procedures and to end the secrecy in the process. This interview points to just how deep the divisions have become in Congress. Impeachment is a political exercise and the impeachment inquiry hearings are proceeding along partisan lines. Democrats are moving forward with very little input from Republicans. The memo from the telephone call that was the action called into question to open up the hearings has been released. The anti-Trumpers say it shows a quid pro quo while Trump supporters say it does not. Like everything else these days, it all comes down to party loyalty. This is why Pelosi only today held a vote on moving forward with impeachment inquiry hearings. She knows, going into the 2020 elections, that going forward with impeachment hearings on a strict party-line vote will likely backfire on the Democrats. With all Republicans voting against it and two Democrats joining them, the message will be clear to voters. It will be up to the voters to determine if Democrats are trying to nullify a presidential election or not.

You can listen to McCaul’s own words: