Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, delivered a fiery takedown of Republicans on Tuesday at the conclusion of the day’s public impeachment hearings.
In less than two minutes, Rep. Schiff explained what really bothers Republicans about the Ukraine scandal – not the president’s misconduct, but the fact that he got caught.
“Their objection is he got caught,” the Democratic leader said. “Not that the president engaged in this conduct, but that he got caught.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) closes Tuesday’s impeachment hearing with a bang: “That’s [the GOP’s] objection. Not that the president engaged in this conduct, but that he got caught.” #ctl #p2 pic.twitter.com/4PzYkitRse
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) November 20, 2019
The withholding of military assistance to get these investigations, which you now have acknowledged Ambassador Volker was wrong for the president to request. The idea of withholding that military aid to get these political investigations should be anathema, repugnant to every American because it means the sacrifice not just of Ukrainian national security but American national security for the interests of the president personally and politically. My Republican colleagues all they seem to be upset with this is not that the president sought an investigation of his political rival, not that he withheld a White House meeting and $400 million in aid we all passed in a bipartisan basis to pressure Ukraine to do those investigations. Their objection is he got caught. Their objection is that someone blew the whistle, and they would like this whistleblower identified, and the president wants this whistleblower punished. That’s their objection. Not that the president engaged in this conduct, but that he got caught. Their defense is, well he ended up releasing the aid. Yes, after he got caught. That doesn’t make this any less odious.
Virtually no one is debating the facts of the scandal
One of the most stunning aspects of the Ukraine scandal is that no one is really debating the substance of the allegations against the president, which is that he shook down a foreign power for dirt on a political opponent.
As Rep. Schiff said at the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearings, not even Republicans are trying to fight those allegations anymore.
Instead, Reps. Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan – self-appointed leaders of the GOP crazy caucus – are angry that someone blew the whistle on the president’s misconduct.
The bad news for Republicans is that impeachment, whether they like it or not, is a fact-based process. On that score, they’re losing badly.