As the impeachment inquiry into President Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine's government into investigating his political rivals continues, Democrats have shifted to characterizing Trump's actions as "bribery" to describe how he allegedly offered Ukraine military aid on the condition that its government investigate the Bidens.
In a bid to counter the Democrats’ narrative, some Republicans have pointed out that none of the witnesses have used the word “bribery” during the impeachment inquiry’s hearings. Today, House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a moment to clarify why that is.
"I just wanted to make one point clear for the folks who are watching today," Schiff said. "Bribery does involve a quid pro quo. Bribery involves the conditioning of an official act for something of value. An official act may be a White House meeting, an official act may be $400 million in military aid, and 'something of value' to a president might include investigations of a political rival. The reason we don't ask witnesses that are fact witnesses to make the judgement about whether a crime or bribery has been committed, or whether more significantly what the Founders had in mind when they itemized bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors, is you're fact witnesses. It will be our job to decide whether the impeachable act of bribery has occurred."
"That's why we don't ask you those questions," Schiff continued, addressing the witnesses. "For one thing, you're also not aware of all the other facts that have been adduced during the investigation."