House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) laid out the strong argument that Trump could be impeached for bribery.
Transcript of Rep. Schiff on NPR as provided to PoliticusUSA:
Rep. Adam Schiff: Well, I don’t think any decision has been made on the ultimate question about whether articles of impeachment should be brought. That will be the purpose of these hearings and the subsequent work done in the Judiciary Committee. But on the basis of what the witnesses have had to say so far, there are any number of potentially impeachable offenses: including bribery, including high crimes and misdemeanors. The basic allegations against the president are that he sought foreign interference in a U.S. election, that he conditioned official acts on the performance of these political favors — and those official acts include a White House meeting that the president of Ukraine desperately sought with President Trump, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funded military assistance for a country that is at war with Russia and a country that the United States has a deep national security interest in making sure it can defend itself.
Q: Can you explain for the layman how those acts — if everything happened, as you suspect it did — how those acts would be “bribery” – the word you used?
Well, bribery, first of all, as the founders understood bribery, it was not as we understand it in law today. It was much broader. It connoted the breach of the public trust in a way where you’re offering official acts for some personal or political reason, not in the nation’s interest. Here you have the president of the United States seeking help from Ukraine in his reelection campaign in the form of two investigations that he thought were politically advantageous, including one of his primary rival.
House Democrats are making a strong argument that Trump should be impeached under the Founders’ definition of bribery. Donald Trump has breached the public trust for personal political gain. Trump’s Ukraine schene is the textbook definition of bribery. Trump was not acting in the national interest when he tried to shakedown Ukraine for an investigation of Joe Biden.
The evidence against Trump is overwhelming, which is why much of the success or failure of the impeachment hearings will be based on how clearly and simply, Chairman Schiff and his committee can tell the story of Trump’s Ukraine call and shadow diplomacy to the American people.
On the same day that Trump was busted for perjury, Democrats are eyeing up impeaching the president for bribery.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association