Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, most certainly shook the White House as he issued a warning to Trump about his presidential abuses of power.
Rep. Schiff said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA:
After the abuses of the Watergate era and over successive administrations, the Department of Justice has sought to adhere to strict guidelines to insulate the Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation from inappropriate intervention or pressure by the President and the White House.
In the ten months since President Trump took office, we have seen vital safeguards against the abuse of power erode, or even fail. The President’s behavior raises profound concerns that he is exerting political pressure on our law enforcement agencies and Congress, in an effort to settle scores against his political opponents, or to distract from ongoing investigations by the Special Counsel and Congress into Russia’s effort to influence our elections and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
Following closely on revelations that President Trump has personally interviewed U.S. Attorney candidates who would have jurisdiction over potential legal issues involving his family and businesses, reports yesterday allege that President Trump instructed his staff to weigh in with the Justice Department to urge them to waive an FBI non-disclosure agreement – for the purpose of advancing a partisan congressional investigation into the President’s former political opponent.
If true, these allegations are alarming and raise important questions and concerns that Congress cannot ignore. A cornerstone of our democracy is that the Justice Department and FBI must be able to make decisions without undue White House influence. The Majority Members of our Committee recently launched a unilateral investigation into the Uranium One deal. The prospect that the President sought to intervene will now need to be a key part of that investigation, to determine if improper political leverage was applied to target his political foe. In emerging democracies, we emphasize that you do not seek to pervert the justice system to punish your opponent after an election; it appears that lesson may need to be relearned here at home.
If Democrats take back the House, Adam Schiff will be the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, so when he suggests that Congress can’t ignore Trump’s behavior, it is a certainty that if he is chair of the Intelligence Committee, Trump will be under investigation. Schiff’s statement was the closest expression yet of the belief that the President is using his allies in the House to derail the Russia investigation.
As he publicly claims that it was Hillary Clinton who colluded with Russia, Trump is doing everything in his power to obstruct, impede, and kill the investigations into his relationship with Russia.
Rep. Schiff is warning that Trump is committing impeachable offenses, and Democrats are ready to hold him accountable.