Adam Schiff: If Trump Was Really Trying to Fight Corruption in Ukraine ‘Why Would He Hide It’ From Congress?
As he spoke before the Senate for the second day of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff tore into the notion that the president’s conduct with Ukraine was purely motived by an interest in fighting corruption.
During a portion of Schiff’s Senate address, he disputed Trump’s claims that Europe doesn’t do enough to match the United States in financially backing Ukraine and supporting them as a strategic military partner. Eventually, Schiff turned to Trump’s lack of transparency as he withheld Congressionally-approved aid to Ukraine, seemingly in order to pressure their government into launching the investigations he wanted against his political foes.
“If the president was fighting corruption, if he wanted Europeans to pay more, why would he hide it from us? Why would he hide it from the Ukrainians? Why would he hide it from the rest of the world?” Schiff asked. “If this was a desire to get Europe to pay more, why wouldn’t he charge [Gordon] Sondland to go ask Europe for more? Why wouldn’t he be proud to tell the Congress of the United States ‘I’m holding up this aid, and I’m holding it up because I’m worried about corruption?’ Why wouldn’t he? Because of course it wasn’t true. There’s no evidence of that.”
Schiff continued by noting how White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said last year that not only were the investigations a “driving factor” for Trump’s engagement with Ukraine, but also there was a quid pro quo at play, saying “we do that all the time with foreign policy…Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”
“Should the Congress just get over it? Should the American people just come to expect that our presidents will corruptly abuse their office to seek the help of a foreign power to cheat in our elections?” Schiff asked. “Should we just get over it? Is that what we’ve come to? I hope and pray that the answer is no.”
Watch above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]