Schiff Upstages Trump During Live NBC TV Appearance


Last week, Democrats finished up their initial public hearings in their impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. This weekend, as Trump continues to publicly rage about the process at nearly every available opportunity, House Intelligence Committee chairman and impeachment investigation lead Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asserted that Democrats would not let their overall investigation be impeded by the White House’s obstruction efforts, which he noted could include more public hearings. During the same appearance on Meet the Press, Schiff also notably condemned the president for significantly endangering the whistleblower whose complaint revealing the Ukraine quid pro quo scandal helped spark the impeachment inquiry.

Although impeachment investigators have already secured the cooperation of a number of significant current and former officials from the Trump administration, Schiff noted to NBC’s Chuck Todd:

‘There are still other witnesses, other documents that we would like to obtain, but we are not willing to go the months and months and months of rope a dope in the courts, which the administration would more than love for us to do.’

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Indeed — at nearly every opportunity, the overall Trump administration has flatly resisted Congressional subpoenas, and that strategy has already sparked numerous months-long court battles. One over a House Oversight Committee subpoena for Trump’s tax information has just recently reached the stage of the Trump administration appealing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — some seven months after the subpoena was first issued. If you put enough of those kinds of delays together, the president could be hoping to obstruct the impeachment investigation until he can get out of office another way, but Schiff indicates that’s not happening.

That’s definitely not for a lack of trying on the president’s part. At one point, he was caught on tape suggesting that those behind the complaint, including the whistleblower’s sources, should be executed for espionage. Many other times, he has suggested (with no basis in reality whatsoever) that those investigating the whistleblower’s complaint and related evidence are staging a coup.

Following those complaints, he’s also complained that House Democrats now seem less keen on bringing the whistleblower to testify than they were previously.

Schiff explained this weekend:

‘We had a deep interest in having the whistleblower testify until two things happened. One — we were able to prove everything in the whistleblower complaint with witnesses that had firsthand information, and second, the president and his allies effectively put the whistleblower’s life in danger. The president said the whistleblower and others should be treated as a traitor or a spy and we ought to use the penalty we used to use for traitors and spies, and that’s the death penalty… It would only serve to endanger this person and gratify the president’s desire for retribution, and that is not a good enough reason to bring in the whistleblower.’


In other words, a leading member of Congress has had to adapt to the president of the United States endangering the life of a private citizen just because he felt like his ego was in danger. Going forward, this is still all the president’s got — attacks, not facts.