Schiff Doesn’t Rule Out More Hearings, But He Won’t ‘Wait Months and Months’

Susan Jones | November 25, 2019 | 11:20am EST
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(Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said on Sunday he may call more witnesses, beyond the dozen who already have testified in public.

“We don't foreclose the possibility of more depositions, more hearings,” Schiff told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

We are in the process of getting more documents all the time. So, that investigative work is going to go on. What we're not prepared to do is wait months and months while the administration plays a game of rope-a-dope in an effort to try to stall. We're not willing to go down that road.

And what's more, the evidence is already overwhelming. The remarkable thing about this -- and we have done this with almost -- well, literally no documentary production from the administration -- is, the facts are really not contested.

It's really not contested what the president did.

What is open to question is whether members of Congress are going to do their duty, and whether there will be anyone like Howard Baker, anyone on the Republican side that is willing to put their country, their Constitution above the party, or even the person of this president, because I don't think he really represents at least what the Republican Party used to stand for.

Tapper asked Schiff directly, “[D]o you think President Trump should be impeached?”

“I want to discuss this with my constituents and my colleagues before I make a final judgment on it,” said Schiff, who has made his contempt for Donald Trump clear ever since Trump became president.

Tapper told Schiff it certainly sounds like he’s made up his mind.

“Well, I certainly think that the evidence that's been produced overwhelmingly shows serious misconduct by the president,” Schiff said.

But I do want to hear more from my constituents, and I want to hear more from my colleagues. This is not a decision I will be making alone.

But at the end of the day, this is a decision about whether the Founding Fathers had in mind this kind of misconduct when they gave Congress this remedy.

And I have to think that this is very much central to what they were concerned about. That is, an unethical man or woman takes that office, uses it for their personal political gain, sacrifices the national security to do so. If that wasn't what the founders had in mind, it's hard to imagine what they did.

Schiff identified two “really important things” to think about.

“And one is, are we prepared to say that soliciting foreign interference, conditioning official acts, like $400 million in taxpayer money, White House meetings, to get political favors is somehow now compatible with the office? Because, if we do, it's basically carte blanche for this president and anyone who comes after him.

“But are we also prepared to say that Congress will tolerate the complete stonewalling of an impeachment inquiry or our oversight? Because, if we do, it'll mean that the impeachment clause is a complete nullity and, more than that, our oversight ability is really an ability in name only.”

Schiff said his committee wants to hear from first-hand witnesses such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton and OMB Director/Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. The latter has refused a subpoena to appear, and Bolton is asking a court to decide if he must appear.

“But, we’re not willing to simply allow them to wait us out, to stall this proceeding, when the facts are already overwhelming.

“We're going to continue our investigation. We are going to continue to pursue the documents,” Schiff said, even after the intelligence committee has sent its report to the House Judiciary Committee.

“Oh, yes. The investigation isn't going to end,” Schiff said.


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