After the Senate voted against allowing documents and witnesses on Friday, it appears that Republicans are cleared to acquit Trump on Wednesday even though the vast majority of all Americans wanted witnesses.
However, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is not letting Republicans off the hook just yet.
Appearing on Face the Nation, Schiff, who is also the lead impeachment manager, said he would press all Senators to understand the gravity of Trump’s conduct and vote to remove him from office.
“I’m not letting the senators off the hook. We’re still gonna go into the Senate this week and make the case that this president needs to be removed. It will be up to the senators to make that final judgment, and the senators will be held accountable for it,” said Schiff.
"I'm not letting the senators off the hook. We're still gonna go into the Senate this week and make the case that this president needs to be removed.
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) February 2, 2020
During the impeachment trial, Republican Senators and Trump’s defense tried to assert that the House should have subpoenaed former national security adviser John Bolton. Therefore, they believe it was justifiable to deny witnesses in the Senate, going against the majority of Americans’ opinions.
However, Schiff says there are senators on both sides of the aisles who believe the House already made a strong case that Trump tried to cheat in the upcoming presidential elections. Now, will Republican Senators vote to allow Trump to get away with it?
“Look, there’s nothing that I can see that we could have done differently because as the senators have already admitted, we’ve proved our case. We proved our case,” Schiff said.
‘Inappropriate’ doesn’t begin to cover it
Senators are excusing Trump’s conduct “inappropriate,” but Schiff reminds them that is the understatement of the century.
“Well, first of all to call solicitation, coercion, blackmail of a foreign power, an ally at war by withholding military aid to get help in cheating the next election merely inappropriate doesn’t begin to do justice to the gravity of the president’s misconduct,” said Schiff. “…misconduct that I think undermined our national security as well as that of our ally and threatens the integrity of our elections.”
"You have senators on both sides of the aisle admitting the House made its case. The only question is should [Trump] be removed from office because he's been found guilty of these offenses? It's enormously important for the country to understand what [Trump] did." —@RepAdamSchiff pic.twitter.com/vlMY5fJfs5
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) February 2, 2020
Trump’s supporters have tried to assert that the House didn’t allow Trump to cross-examine witnesses, although it was the White House that refused to take part in the proceedings. In fact, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Congress declaring Trump would not cooperate in any inquiry.
According to a New York Times report about Bolton’s unpublished manuscript, Cipollone was allegedly present for one of the first conversations in which Trump attempted to press Bolton to help him get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. The conversation took place in the Oval Office two months before Trump made the now-infamous phone call to the Ukrainian president. White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani were allegedly present.
If true, that means the person leading the president’s impeachment defense, Cipollone, was aware the whole time about the specifics of the Ukraine scheme.
Even if Republicans vote to acquit Trump without considering evidence like this, Schiff indicates that hearing the witnesses in the House is not out of the realm of possibilities.
“‘I don’t want to comment at this point what our plans may or may not be with respect to John Bolton,’ Schiff said, adding that whatever happens, more and more details from Bolton and others will emerge.”
Although Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander voted no to witnesses, Schiff reminds them, “They’re not mere spectators here.”
Republicans in the Senate will go down in history for conducing the first senate impeachment trial in history without allowing witnesses and documents. Legal experts have called that an “unconstitutional impeachment process.”
Thus, Republicans have failed the majority of Americans, have rejected their constitutional oversight duties and set an incredibly dangerous precedent for Trump and all future presidents.
Nevertheless, “the truth will continue to come out,” Schiff reminds them. Their coverup will fail as the whole world watches.
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