This week, President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial is drawing to a close following Senate Republicans’ vote last Friday against a Democratic proposal for witness testimony. Democrats had been advocating for that testimony in order to have a fair chance to more fully make their case against the president, but this weekend, lead impeachment case manager and House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) pointed out that Democrats have already achieved some wins. Their hours on end of testimony against the president have been public, and they’ve gotten a few Republican Senators to openly admit the facts of their case against the president, which those involved in it and the cover-up now have to answer for.
During an appearance on Face The Nation, Schiff commented to host Margaret Brennan:
‘What’s remarkable is you now have Republican senators coming out and saying, yes, the House proved its case. The House proved the corrupt scheme that they charged in the articles of impeachment… I think it’s enormously important that the country understand exactly what this president did, and we have proved it.’
‘The country is moving away from its democratic ideals, and I think by standing up to this president … we are helping to slow the momentum away from our democratic values, until that progress away from democracy can be arrested.’
SCHIFF: "The country is moving away from its democratic ideals, and I think by standing up to this president … we are helping to slow the momentum away from our democratic values, until that progress away from democracy can be arrested." pic.twitter.com/21yKCQPzkK
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 2, 2020
Trump can not escape that fact — the case against him has been publicly made. The Republicans who’ve acknowledged the facts of the case against the president include Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, who is retiring at the end of his present term. Alexander called the president’s scheme to bribe Ukraine into investigating his opponents “inappropriate,” but he insisted that it wasn’t worth impeaching Trump over. Imagine acting so flippantly about a plot to pollute the upcoming presidential election! Ask Alexander, and Trump might as well have simply been jaywalking or something — that’s the level of irrelevance that his behavior implies.
This weekend, Schiff commented:
‘To call solicitation, coercion, blackmail of a foreign power, an ally at war, by withholding military aid to get help in cheating in the next election merely inappropriate, doesn’t begin to do justice to the gravity of this president’s misconduct, misconduct that I think undermined our national security as well as that of our ally and threatens the integrity of our elections’
Yet, that’s exactly the path that some Republicans have chosen anyway. Besides Alexander, Florida’s Marco Rubio and Ohio’s Rob Portman have each made similar arguments about the supposed inappropriate but not impeachable nature of the president’s conduct. Some of them have made grand arguments about supposedly deferring to the will of the voters rather than remaining engaged with the process any further, but polls clearly show that majorities of voters wanted witnesses at the Senate trial, and they voted that down. They’re not protecting the voters — they’re protecting Trump.
Schiff pointed out:
‘For those who would say, well, let’s let the voters decide when the president is trying to cheat in that very election, and they don’t want the voters to have the full information, they want the president to continue to be able to cover it up. That’s just completely unsatisfactory.’
This very week, the election that’s at the center of the conversation will more officially get underway. The Iowa caucuses are on Monday, where Bernie Sanders currently has an average three percent lead in polling.