Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) patiently explained the politics of impeachment to “The View” co-host Meghan McCain.
The California Democrat appeared Monday on the daytime talk show, where he addressed the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival.
“Ethics aside,” McCain began, “impeachment is a deeply political process and given the intense divide over the issue and the current standoff you guys are having, do you think just purely political was this a good political move for Democrats, and is there any indication that this has damaged President Trump? Because poll numbers say that it hasn’t.”
Schiff explained that polling showed Americans had been persuaded by the evidence turned up in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.
“If you’re going to look at the poll numbers,” he said, “what you’ll see over the last three months is the country moving from a majority of Americans believing that we shouldn’t even have an impeachment investigation to overwhelming support for the investigation and a majority, although a narrow majority, of Americans saying that the Senate should convict and remove the president from office. So that’s been a pretty substantial change.”
“In terms of what impact it will have in November, I really can’t say,” Schiff continued. “That’s not a question, frankly, I’ve been asking myself because I don’t think that’s my role. I think we in the House had to determine is this the right thing to do, is this the constitutionally required thing to do.”
“What convinced me, Meghan — and you may recall I was not eager to go down the road to impeachment — is when the president committed this latest and most egregious misconduct, the shakedown of the Ukrainian president, withheld military support to an ally at war and was on the phone literally a day after Bob Mueller testified, the day after the president believed he had escaped accountability for the first foreign interference to help his election, he was back at it again,” Schiff added. “That told me that he believes he is above the law, unaccountable, and we needed to move forward. Even if the Senate won’t do their constitutional duty, we in the House need to do ours.”
The audience loudly cheered Schiff’s conclusion, and McCain pressed him to defend the political benefits of holding a lengthy impeachment trial.
“I mean, I hear your side of the argument that President (Bill) Clinton’s impeachment trial lasted only a month, and if that’s the case Senate Democrats who are running for president in 2020 are going to be holed up on the Hill instead of campaigning well into the first two primaries,” she said. “Say what you will about the constitution and duty, this will hurt Democrats politically. Do you disagree?”
Schiff said that shouldn’t really matter.
“If senators are doing their job, if they are being impartial jurors, if they are doing their duty under the Constitution, that ought to inure to their benefit,” he said. “I’ve always felt that the best campaign was simply doing a good job, and I don’t think voters are going to hold it against senators for taking the impeachment of the president of the United States seriously, so I don’t think it should be an impediment to them.”
“But more important, I don’t think it’s a question of, say what you will about the Constitution,” Schiff added. “I think it is our duty to uphold the Constitution, and if we allow a president to behave like this, if we allow a president, this president or any other, to seek foreign help, to coerce foreign help in a U.S. election, if we let a president obstruct any investigation into their own wrongdoing, that is going to have enormous repercussions. We’re going to have to expect a far greater degree of corruption and malfeasance not only with this president but any in the future. There’s a lot at stake here and if it means that senators are off the campaign trial for a couple more weeks, I think it’s worth the trade.”
‘Dopes and babies!’ Trump unleashed expletive-filled rant at military leaders after growing bored in Pentagon meeting: report
President Donald Trump erupted during a briefing intended to teach him the basic fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy -- and essentially ended any hope that he would ever learn them.
Six months into his presidency, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were frustrated and alarmed by the gaps in Trump's knowledge of world affairs, and they scheduled a Pentagon briefing to catch him up, reported the Washington Post.
Rick Santorum flattened by CNN’s Berman after calling Parnas bombshell revelations ‘extraneous’ to impeachment
Rick Santorum and CNN's John Berman got into a frantic back-and-forth on Friday morning after the former Republican senator attempted to dismiss the revelations by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas as something that should not be submitted as evidence in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Discussing the Senate trial expected to start next week, Santorum said the only testimony and witnesses that should be allowed are ones that came up in the earlier House hearings.
"The House's responsibility to bring to us a case," Santorum stated. "They're the one who is said these are offenses that are worthy of the president being removed from office; here is the record, here are the charges. The Senate didn't impeach, the House did, so we are going to look at the record the House presented us. We're going to look at the witnesses and say are there are questions that we have for the people that brought this case forward and relied on these witnesses and look at their testimony."
Fox & Friends floats impeachment conspiracy theory about GAO findings of Trump crimes against Ukraine
"Fox & Friends" assured viewers they could ignore a federal watchdog agency's findings that President Donald Trump broke the law by withholding Ukraine aid.
The nonpartisan the Government Accountability Office found the White House Office of Management and Budget violated the law by freezing $400 million in congressionally approved military aid, but the Fox News hosts suggested the agency was only trying to hurt the president.
"Do you think it's just a coincidence that that news would drop exactly the same day the (impeachment) trial started?" said co-host Steve Doocy.
Co-hosts Pete Hegseth and Ainsley Earhardt agreed, and accepted administration denials at face value.