Schiff Claims He's Been 'Very Reluctant' To Impeach Trump, But That Ukraine Call May Force His Hand
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, claimed on Sunday that he has been “very reluctant” to impeach President Donald Trump, but that the subject matter of the commander in chief’s phone call with the Ukrainian president in July may force him down that road.
The California Democrat must think all the video of his many public pronouncements calling for Trump’s ouster from office has suddenly disappeared.
In March, Schiff claimed that the president’s wrongdoing in relation to the Russia investigation is “worse than Watergate.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Schiff pretended to play the part of the concerned non-partisan statesman who had only the country’s best interest at heart.
Host Jake Tapper asked the congressman, “If the president did, in fact, in that phone call push the Ukrainian president to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden eight times, as The Wall Street Journal reported, is it an impeachable offense, in your view?”
Schiff answered, “Well, Jake, you know I have been very reluctant to go down the path of impeachment, for the reason that I think the Founders contemplated, in a country that has elections every four years, that this would be an extraordinary remedy, a remedy of last resort, not first resort.”
“But if the president is essentially withholding military aid, at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit, that is, providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is co-equal to the evil that that conduct represents.”
Schiff’s stated reluctance to see Trump impeached stretches credulity.
While it is true he voted with a majority of Democrats and all Republicans to table an impeachment resolution offered by Texas Rep. Al Green in July, that was likely in acquiescence to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s wishes.
Following the release of the findings of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report in March, all the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee signed a letter calling for Schiff to step down as chairman in light of his repeated false public statements charging that Trump had colluded with Russia.
As the Republicans wrote in the letter, on March 22, 2017, two months into Trump’s presidency, Schiff went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and unequivocally stated that he — the then-ranking member of the Intelligence Committee — possessed knowledge of “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion, but could not “go into particulars.”
In the face of Mueller’s findings last spring, the lawmaker continued to insist that “undoubtedly there is collusion,” according to The Washington Post.
Schiff began to focus on obstruction of justice after the release of the full special counsel’s report in April.
“Did the President obstruct justice? Yes,” he tweeted. “Was it worse than Watergate? Yes.”
Did the President obstruct justice?
Was it worse than Watergate?
This break in was by a hostile foreign adversary. This president welcomed their help. This president lied about it and sided with that power over his own agencies.
Don’t believe it? Read the report. pic.twitter.com/crL7gew2WB
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 21, 2019
“The obstruction of justice in particular in this case is far worse than anything Richard Nixon did,” Schiff told ABC News.
“I do believe that [Trump] obstructed justice and did so in many ways.”
Clearly, Schiff possessed no reluctance to impeach Trump in April and no hesitation to label his conduct worse than that of Nixon, who was forced to resign under threat of impeachment.
As you’ll recall, in Nixon’s case there was a coverup of an underlying crime. By contrast, Mueller’s team of prosecutors found no criminal conduct of collusion that Trump needed to cover up.
The president tweeted last spring that Schiff “should be forced to resign from Congress!”
Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
If nothing else, he should at least be forced to step down as Intelligence Committee chair.
Far from being reluctant, Schiff is the boy who cried impeachment far too often.
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