Adam Schiff: GOP Refusal to Support Impeachment is a ‘Failure’ to Put Country Over Party


House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) defended the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump from the possibility that it could backfire on Democrats if it fails in the Senate.

In an extensive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Schiff was pressed on whether he believes Trump should be impeached, whether the impeachment investigations should try to call up more witnesses, and whether John Bolton ought to testify. Eventually, Tapper asked Schiff if he thinks he has enough evidence at this point to compel the opposition to reluctantly acquiesce with impeachment.

Schiff argued that “there is a growing list of people” who think Trump has committed impeachable offenses, and that “at the end of the day, we have to decide what our constitutional duty is. Even if our colleagues in the GOP and Congress have decided they’re more committed to the person of the president than their constitutional duty, we still have to do our duty.”

Tapper countered by asking Schiff if proceeding with impeachment is a good idea if it ends up costing Democrats support in the House of Representatives and possibly losing control over it.

“I don’t know that the American people, especially in the battleground states, are where [you need them] to be,” Tapper said.

Schiff argued that impeaching Trump has grown more popular in recent months, but whether public support increases or not, “I don’t think it is really the question we should be asking.” He made his argument by noting the connection between the Ukraine scandal and the Robert Mueller investigation into Trump.

“I think in the first instance we should be asking, what is our constitutional duty here and if we decide our duty is to impeach, then we need to make the case to the American people and we have to hope that we’ll be successful in making that case. But this shouldn’t be driven by what we think helps us in 2020 or hurts us in 2020…If there is not some deterrent even if it doesn’t mean that the Republicans provide the kind of support for the Constitution that they should, if there isn’t some deterrent, we can darn well be sure this president will commit even more egregious acts in the months ahead.”

Tapper noted “it sounds like you’re for impeachment,” even though Schiff refused to say one way or the other if he supports it. Tapper eventually Schiff if the credibility of impeachment will be damaged if the vote for it falls on partisan lines.

Schiff’s answer:

“I think what it will mean, if we decide that we cannot accept this kind of conduct in the President of the United States, and the Republicans decide that because of the president’s party or because they’re afraid of a primary for whatever reason they cannot vote to support impeachment, I think it will mean a failure by the GOP to put the country above their party, and it will have very long-term consequences if that is where we end up. And if not today, I think Republican members in the future to their children and their grandchildren will have to explain why they did nothing in the face of this deeply unethical man who did such damage to the country.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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