The Trump family woke up to a scary reality. Their dad, President Donald Trump is now facing a formal impeachment inquiry thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) following revelations about his efforts to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens. This weekend on Meet the Press, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) addressed the ongoing scandal and bluntly denounced Trump as having violated his oath of office — which is not exactly a low key accusation. Schiff’s committee is one of those helping lead what’s now a formal impeachment inquiry into the president.
Host Chuck Todd asked him about the respective weights that Trump’s initial behavior and the cover-up that Trump officials engaged in would have in their investigation, and Schiff explained:
‘I think really the gravity of the offense here is the president using the power of his office to coerce a foreign nation into helping his presidential campaign to once again interfere in our election, and at the same time, withholding foreign aid that that country so desperately needs to fight off Putin and the Russians. That to me is the most serious constellation of issues… I don’t want to lose sight of that fundamental breach of the president’s oath of office and that duty to defend our country and our Constitution.’
WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff says he doesn’t want to lose sight of the “fundamental breach of the president’s oath of office.” #MTP #IfItsSunday@RepAdamSchiff: The president is “coercing a foreign nation to get involved to try to help him in yet another presidential election.” pic.twitter.com/x6yEHvFxXq
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 29, 2019
Schiff did add though, discussing the Trump administration:
‘The more that they fight… the more they’re going to make a case for impeachment on obstruction of justice, of Congress, on rule of law.’
Schiff also said he would work to “protect” a whistleblower at the center of the scandal, considering Trump quipped they should be shot.
So far, the Trump team has definitely fought investigative efforts quite a bit — to say the least. Although Trump insisted at one point that his team would fight “all the subpoenas,” Schiff co-led a recent subpoena demanding documents covering the Ukraine scandal from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Cooperating with the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees, Schiff has also set dates for questioning key figures in the scandal, including now former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who resigned after his assistance to the Trump team in trying to get Biden dirt from Ukraine was revealed. Whether Volker complies remains to be seen.
As Schiff indicates, the Trump team has done something like this before. During the 2016 campaign season, they benefited from Russian meddling efforts and actively engaged with them, although in enough of a haphazard fashion to avoid criminal charges for now. This time, they have the power of the presidency to back them up, and they adamantly refuse to even slow the pace of their efforts. Trump has infamously insisted that the call in which he repeated over and over again that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should investigate the Bidens was “perfect.”
Schiff and Pelosi were some of the last holdouts against going ahead and launching an impeachment inquiry, but now, the vast majority of House Democrats have expressed their explicit support for the move — including them. Trump and his associates have responded with hyped up claims about the supposed political nature of the inquiry, ignoring evidence like that in a record of a Trump-Zelensky call that they released!
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