This week, after a delay in which House Democrats sought to pressure Senate Republicans into hosting an actually fair trial, the House will seemingly be sending their impeachment case against President Donald Trump over to that upper Congressional chamber for trial. This Monday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) appeared on The View, where he powerfully defended the necessity and appropriateness of House Democrats’ actions, no matter potential political consequences that co-host Meghan McCain tried to use to get Schiff to belittle the impeachment case. When Schiff insisted that Democrats are determined to follow their Constitutional duty no matter how far off the rails that Republicans go, he got loud cheers from the audience.
Throughout the entire process, Democrats have kept their attention trained almost exclusively on the facts of Trump’s corruption, but Republicans like McCain have continuously tried to drive the situation up a political wall anyway. She asked the Democratic leader:
‘Given the intense divide over the issue and the current standoff you guys are having, do you think… was this a good political move for Democrats, and is there any indication that this has damaged President Trump? Because poll numbers say that it hasn’t.’
Schiff pointed out that most importantly, poll numbers are not the main issue here, and secondly — actually, there’s no real world evidence for the dramatic upswell of support for Trump that he and his allies have claimed in response to impeachment. That supposed support is just not there.
‘If you’re going to look at the poll numbers, what you’ll see over the last three months is the country moving from a majority of Americans believing that we shouldn’t even have an impeachment investigation to overwhelming support for the investigation and a majority, although a narrow majority, of Americans saying that the Senate should convict and remove the president from office. So that’s been a pretty substantial change.’
He continued, zeroing in on the heart of the matter:
‘In terms of what impact it will have in November, I really can’t say. That’s not a question, frankly, I’ve been asking myself because I don’t think that’s my role. I think we in the House had to determine is this the right thing to do, is this the constitutionally required thing to do… Even if the Senate won’t do their constitutional duty, we in the House need to do ours.’
At that point, the cheers started. As Schiff also noted, there’s clear evidence for the lack of political conniving behind the impeachment proceedings. Schiff himself wouldn’t even support impeachment until a very specific development — the revelation of the president’s plot to pressure Ukraine into investigating his domestic political rivals in exchange for aid and a summit in D.C. with the Trump team. There was no longstanding conspiracy. There was just a decisive reaction to the president’s clearly documented abuse of power.
McCain went on to ask what Schiff thought about the impact of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial on the multiple Senators running for president, but he noted that even if some of them have to leave the campaign trail, he’s “always felt that the best campaign was simply doing a good job” and doesn’t “think voters are going to hold it against senators for taking the impeachment of the president of the United States seriously.”
He wouldn’t give in to McCain’s apparent gambit for him to falter.