House Intelligence Committee chairman and lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said he would not do anything different in the impeachment of President Donald Trump because Republican Senators were saying the House “proved” their case.
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: What do you think this impeachment accomplished?
SCHIFF: 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. The president did withhold hundreds of millions of dollars from an ally to try to coerce that ally into helping him cheat in the next election. That’s pretty remarkable when you now have senators on both sides of the aisle admitting the House made its case and the only question is, should the president be removed for office because he’s been found guilty of these offenses? I think it’s enormously important that the country understand exactly what this president did, and we have proved it. I also think it’s important that the Senate take the next step, having found him guilty, if indeed that’s what they have found. They need to remove him from office because he is threatening to still cheat in the next election by soliciting foreign interference. And so the normal remedy for a president’s misconduct isn’t available here because the elections, he is already trying to prejudice and compromise with further foreign interference.
BRENNAN: But you know the votes aren’t there to remove the president from office. As you said, Senators Rubio, Alexander, Portman have all said in some way or another they found the act- the actions of the president inappropriate, but not enough to oust him. So the bottom line here seems to be that the president will get away with what they’re calling inappropriate. What are Democrats going to do? What do you do next?
SCHIFF: 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 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- the integrity of our elections. Now, if the senators still won’t act, even though they know the truth now, even though they’ve acknowledged what the president did- look, I still think it’s enormously important that the president was impeached because the country is moving away from its democratic ideals. And I think by standing up to this president as we have, by making the case to the American people, by exposing his wrongdoing, we are helping to slow the momentum away from our democratic values, until that progress away from democracy can be arrested and we can return to some sense of normalcy and support for the founders’ ideal. But I’m not letting the senators off the hook. We’re still going to go into to the Senate this week and make the case why 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.
BRENNAN: But given where the numbers are now, you’ve said in the past you would consider subpoenaing John Bolton in the House. Is it inevitable? Will you subpoena him?
SCHIFF: I- I don’t want to comment to this point on what our plans may or may not be with respect to John Bolton, but I will say this: whether it’s before- in testimony before the House or it’s in his book or it’s in one form or another, the truth will come out as- will continue to come out. Indeed, MARGARET, one of the astounding things, and this shows you just how disingenuous the president’s defense is, on Friday night at midnight the president’s lawyers at the Justice Department revealed to a court that they were withholding documents from the Office of Management and Budget showing the personal motivations— we can only assume because they’re communications involving the president–
SCHIFF: –vice president or top people around him— about the freeze. Now, they waited until midnight so that senators voting on whether to compel these documents would not have the- that information. That shows you the lengths to which the president’s lawyers are going to cover this up. But they’re going to fail. Indeed, they failed already. And the senators are going to have to answer the question over time as more and more comes out, why didn’t you do more to find this out before you had to render your verdict? Why bury your head in the sand when you knew this information was out there? I wouldn’t want to have to answer those questions.