This weekend, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said that his panel could consider final, formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump as soon as this week. As the inquiry proceeds, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) appeared on Sunday morning television with a fierce denunciation of the president’s behavior that sparked the impeachment inquiry. No matter the endless petulant rants that Trump has publicly delivered about Schiff and his fellow investigators, the Dem leader freely insisted this weekend that Trump’s behavior is a threat to national security.
Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan asked Schiff about what would be in the final articles of impeachment, and although he didn’t have specifics, he did explain some of the guiding philosophy that he has during the process. On Monday, in the second public impeachment inquiry hearing held by the Judiciary Committee, legal counsel for the intel panel will present evidence collected during Intelligence Committee hearings.
‘As a former prosecutor, it’s always been my strategy in a charging decision — and an impeachment in the House is essentially a charging decision — to charge those that there is the strongest and most overwhelming evidence, and not try to charge everything, even though you could charge other things. So that’s my guiding philosophy.’
And as he went on to note — there aren’t exactly many open questions remaining in place as Congress moves towards the next stages of impeachment. Witness after witness have revealed the wide scope of the president’s plot to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens in exchange for military aid and a summit in D.C.
‘There is overwhelming evidence that the president sought to coerce Ukraine into interfering in our next election. He essentially sought to cheat in our next election by getting a foreign government to weigh in — that is very serious business, and it imperils our national security. It’s a gross abuse of his office. And the president also sought to deeply obstruct the investigation into that wrongdoing, and I think that is the gravamen of the offense here.’
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 8, 2019
Trump’s not exactly going to like that. There are, no doubt, a lot more anti-Schiff rants where Trump’s previous rambling came from. At a recent NATO summit — which you’d think would be an occasion for even just basic decency — Trump publicly called Schiff a “deranged individual” in a display that many denounced as a feat of projection, considering the president’s own documented relentless disconnect from reality. He’s publicly lied over 13,000 times and counting since taking office. That’s not something to just sweep under the rug.
Trump, of course, continues to insist that he’s done nothing wrong. Repeatedly, he’s claimed that a phone conversation in which he demanded that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky look into conspiracy theories about the Democrats was “perfect.” Recently, he’s taken to claiming that because he said he wanted Zelensky to do a favor for “us” and not himself personally, all is dandy. That’s not how it works, though. Trump and his Republican defenders will have to answer for themselves in a Senate trial soon enough.