This Wednesday, the full House was set to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, making him the third impeached president in U.S. history. Early in the morning, as final preparations were underway and Trump kept lashing out on Twitter, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) appeared on MSNBC, where he denounced Republican complaints about the process that they’ve offered simultaneous to outright refusals to try and see some of the relevant evidence. They’ve fallen right in line with the president’s own concurrent refusals to engage and bombastic complaints — but the process has moved forward without them anyway.
Discussing the House Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, Georgia’s Doug Collins, Schiff commented:
‘Mr. Collins would have more credibility if he was saying provide Congress the documents, respond to the subpoenas. They’re lawful; you need to answer. He’d have more credibility if he said let’s bring in Bolton. Let’s bring in Mulvaney, let’s bring in Pompeo, let’s bring in others that have firsthand relevant information. Of course, he’s not saying that, and neither is Mitch McConnell. They don’t want to hear these witnesses. They do want to complain about process, but at the same time they don’t really want to see the evidence.’
Already this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) publicly denounced Democratic calls for additional witnesses during the no doubt soon upcoming impeachment trial. He claimed that the additional witnesses, including White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, and others, would turn the trial into a “fishing expedition” that would set a “nightmarish precedent” for the Senate and impeachment trials. In reality, it’s the president who has muddled the process through demanding noncompliance with Congressional subpoenas.
‘The fact is, the evidence is really already uncontested and overwhelming. If we have yet additional witnesses who further corroborate what we already know, yes, it makes the case that much stronger, but the case is already overwhelming, and so I think those process objections fall flat when they’re not really interested in having those witnesses come in or receiving those documents.’
Indeed — impeachment investigators have already accumulated significant troves of fact witness testimony, which has revealed that as the president and his inner circle tried to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens, the president abruptly ordered a delay on military aid that had been previously approved for Ukraine. These facts are clearly demonstrated. Trump’s hand-picked E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland publicly told Congress that “yes” there was a quid pro quo. Trump and the GOP are still arguing that there’s nothing to be worried about anyway.
This Tuesday, Trump responded with a rambling six-page letter in which he claimed — among other things — that he’s been treated worse than the targets of the Salem Witch Trials, who were hung.
‘This president does nothing but project onto others his own lack of morality. This is someone who mocks others constantly but can’t stand to be mocked himself. The call record speaks for itself, and it’s damning. He doesn’t want to defend it. He can’t defend it. He doesn’t want to explain why he held up $400 million of military aid to coerce an ally at war with Russia into doing his election dirty work. He’d rather attack me.’
And now, he’s be facing some accountability.