Rep. Adam Schiff: 'We Will Continue Investigating' Trump After Ukraine Report Goes to Judiciary Committee

By Susan Jones | December 3, 2019 | 7:04am EST
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) presides at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on November 20, 2019. (Photo by YARA NARDI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) presides at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on November 20, 2019. (Photo by YARA NARDI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, made it perfectly clear Monday night, telling MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that his committee will continue investigating President Trump, even after sending its report on Trump's Ukraine activities to the House Judiciary Committee, which is expected to draw up article of impeachment.

"We're putting the finishing touches on the report which will be released publicly tomorrow," Schiff told Maddow.

Tomorrow night, we'll also have a vote to formally transmit the (Intelligence) committee report to Judiciary. At the same time, that's not the end of our investigation so even while Judiciary does its work, we will continue investigating. We're continuing to issue subpoenas. We're continuing to learn new information.

That work goes on, but we also feel a sense of urgency. This is a president who has sought for intervention in U.S. elections twice now. And even in the midst of our impeachment inquiry is, again, out publicly saying not only should Ukraine do this, but China should also investigate my opponent.

And so this is a threat to the integrity of the upcoming election, and we don't feel it should wait, in particular when we already have overwhelming evidence of the president's misconduct.

Schiff said his committee's report is a "long document," which goes into "considerable detail" and will take time to read.

Maddow asked Schiff how the Judiciary Committee would put together articles of impeachment if the House intelligence committee is "still subpoenaing witnesses and documents (and) flushing out the narrative."

"If we learn new information that will build on what we know already, we will file a supplemental report with the Judiciary Committee," Schiff said.

"But the fact of the matter is, and this is something I discussed with the caucus, when we began this investigation, you get to a point in an investigation where you can tell it is going to be a long time before you get the next valuable increment of information and you're at a decision point. Do we have enough information to make a decision or do we not?

"And here there's really no contesting the facts. There's no contesting what all of these witnesses have said, which is the president conditioned two important, official acts of his office, a meeting in the Oval Office with the president of Ukraine, something they desperately sought; and $400 million of taxpayer-funded military assistance to help Ukraine fight the Russians. He was willing to sacrifice not only Ukraine's security but our own national security, our own fight against Russian aggression in the service of his political aspirations."

The Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, will hear from legal and constitutional experts on Monday, three of whom will explain why Trump's behavior rises to the level of impeachment. The fourth witness, called by Republicans, is expected to argue the other way.

Schiff said the Judiciary Committee also will consider the Mueller report, which laid out various scenarios that might be construed as obstruction of justice, if that's what Congress wants to pursue.

"They may get reports or information from other committees about other presidential misconduct that they should also consider," Schiff said. "And then the Judiciary Committee, in consultation with the full membership and our leadership, will have to make a decision, should we seek articles of impeachment, and what should they look like, but while that process is going on, we don't intend to be static," Schiff said.

In addition to the Ukraine concerns, Schiff said there is "overwhelming" evidence that Trump has obstructed Congress.

"There's never been a president that in a more wholesale way obstructed the work of an impeachment inquiry, let alone oversight," Schiff said. "The president told the State Department, do not turn over a single document, and they haven't; told the Office of Management and Budget, which held up the military aid, don't turn over a single document, and they haven't. Told witnesses, do not show up.

"And if Congress allows that to stand, it will not only mean this president is able to escape the exposure of his full wrongdoing, but any future president can simply ignore congressional oversight. It will fundamentally alter the balance of power between the institutions in a way that will make corruption, negligence and malfeasance much more likely because Congress will be powerless to investigate it."


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