Adam Schiff Delivers ‘ABC Sunday’ Butt Kicking Of Donald Trump

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Striking out without the Republicans who’ve consistently chosen to ignore issues with the Trump administration, House Democrats like Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (Calif.) continue to grapple with the question of an appropriate response to President Donald Trump’s legally questionable at-best behavior. This weekend on ABC, he told host George Stephanopoulos that House Democrats are committed to protecting American democracy as best they can, whether or not that includes impeaching Trump. That protection of democratic institutions shouldn’t end up defined by party lines, but here we are anyway.

As the chairman put it, discussing a possible case in which his party does bring an impeachment case in response to what he and others believe is the president’s clearly impeachable behavior:

‘We have to recognize that one party — the Republican Party — has turned itself into a cult of the president’s personality and is not likely to act consistent with its Constitutional obligations.’

Separately, in light of this devolution of the GOP into a machine supporting Donald Trump above much to all else, Schiff explained of his own party’s position:

‘I think we’re going to do what’s right for the country, and at this point, the Speaker has not reached the conclusion and I haven’t either that it’s best for the country to put us through an impeachment proceeding that we know is destined for failure in the Senate. That calculus may change if the president continues to stonewall, if the president continues to demonstrate his unfitness for office — there may be little additional cost to going through that process… But we’re not there yet, and I think if it is a close call, close calls go against putting the country through that.’

He added that Democrats in the House have both important oversight work they can pursue outside of the context of an impeachment case and a legislative agenda that they continue to work on. Although many of their pushes are likely to not get anywhere while the Senate remains under the control of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has derided as the “Grim Reaper” for his consistent refusal to let their bills live — the legislation House Democrats pass anyway could lay a blueprint for a possible Democratic president post-2020 and maybe even a Democratic-majority Senate.

Democrats’ legislative agenda so far has included an array of major pushes, from a massive campaign ethics reform package to a proposal to open up citizenship to undocumented immigrants who were brought here as kids to a plan to expand background check requirements to cover every single gun purchase in the United States. These efforts and their concurrent ones utterly destroy the Trump team’s newest line that Democrats can’t go down “two tracks” and investigate the president’s belligerence while also advancing legislation that tangibly betters the lives of Americans.

Some of Trump’s newest policy does the exact opposite of that. He’s announced a plan for a gradually increasing tax on all Mexican imports, which in the short term, constitutes a tax on Americans, who when doing business with Mexico no matter how crucial it is to their economic standing will have to pay up. Somehow even still Trump wants us to think it’s the Democrats running against the spirit of America or whatever.

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