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Trump impeachment leader Schiff joins California Senate race

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who rose to national prominence as the lead prosecutor in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, announced Thursday that he is seeking the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“We need a fighter in the U.S. Senate who has been at the center of the struggle for our democracy and our economy,” Schiff said in a statement announcing his 2024 bid.

“If our democracy isn’t delivering for Americans, they’ll look for alternatives, like a dangerous demagogue who promises that he alone can fix it,” Schiff added, in an obvious reference to Trump, who has mounted a 2024 campaign for the presidency.

Democrat Feinstein, at 89 the oldest member of Congress, hasn't yet said whether she will seek another term. She told reporters earlier this week that she’s going to make her decision on whether to run again in “next couple of months."

Schiff, 62, joins a field that already includes Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, who in announcing her bid two weeks ago focused on her consumer advocacy and willingness to take on the status quo in Congress.

Schiff, who was first elected to Congress in 2000 and represents parts of Hollywood, has been a frequent target of conservatives since the then-GOP-led House Intelligence Committee started investigating Trump’s ties to Russia in the 2016 election. He was frequently on television questioning Trump’s actions.

The criticism intensified when Democrats took the House majority in early 2019 and he became chairman of the intelligence panel. And it reached a full-on roar as he took charge of the impeachment investigation of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

On Tuesday, new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reiterated his intention to block Schiff from serving on the House Intelligence Committee, saying Schiff used his position as chair of the panel during Trump's first impeachment to “lie to the American public again and again" — a contention that Schiff rejected.

Michael R. Blood, The Associated Press

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