Adam Schiff Destroys Trump’s Defense Of His Mafia Style Ukraine Shakedown

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) accused Trump of a Mafia-style shakedown and destroyed his Ukraine phone call defense.

Schiff said, “It is shocking on one level that the White House would release these notes and felt that somehow this would help the president’s case or cause because what those notes reflect is a classic mafia-like shakedown of a foreign leader. They reflect a Ukrainian president who was desperate for U.S. Support, for military support, to help that country in a hot war with Putin’s Russia, a country that is still occupied by irregular Russian forces, in which people face a very dangerous and continuing and destabilizing action by their aggressive neighbor, and at the same time, a president of the United States who immediately after the Ukraine president expresses the need for further weapons, tells the Ukraine president he has a favor to ask. The president communicates to his Ukrainian counterpart that the United States has done an awful lot for Ukraine, we’ve done a lot for Ukraine, more than the Europeans have done for Ukraine, but there is not much reciprocity here. This is how a mafia boss talks. I have a favor to ask you. And what is that favor? To investigate his political rival, to investigate the Bidens.”

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Chairman Schiff later wrecked Trump’s defense of the call:

There was only one message that that president of Ukraine got from that call and that was, this is what I need, I know what you need.

Like any mafia boss, the president didn’t need to say “That’s a nice country you have, it would be a shame if something happened to it,” because that was clear from the conversation.

There was no quid pro quo necessary to betray your country or your oath of office. Even though many read this as a quid pro quo. I’m not concerned with whether it is a quid pro quo or not. Ukraine understood what this president wanted. He made it abundantly clear, he made it redundantly clear, he had his emissaries making it clear. And Ukraine needed — knew what it needed to do if it wanted to get military assistance, and that is help the President Of The United States violate his oath of office.

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The notes from Trump’s call can be read as a quid pro quo. They definitely show that Trump’s mentality was do something for me, and I will do something for you.

Rep. Schiff has it right. Debating out the quid pro quo is a distraction intended to stop the discussions about Trump jeopardizing national security and violating his oath of office.

It is shocking that the White House would release notes that are so bad for Trump, but it also reveals the power of the impeachment investigation, as Democrats have gotten more out of Trump in less than two days than they have all year.