Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, used his closing remarks in Thursday’s hearing to present the case for impeaching President Trump. He used the platform to plead for Republicans to look beyond their party, arguing that the president’s actions toward Ukraine go “beyond anything Nixon did.”
Schiff maintained that Trump’s abuse of power was clear and on a more significant scale than the Watergate break-in that eventually led to the impeachment of former President Richard Nixon.
“The difference between then and now is not the difference between Nixon and Trump, it’s the difference between that Congress and this one,” Schiff said during passionate speech. “And so we are asking … where are the people who are willing to go beyond their party to look to their duty?”
ABC News Politics posted this tweet of Schiff’s comments:
Rep. Adam Schiff: “What we’ve seen here is far more serious than a third rate burglary of the Democratic headquarters.”
“Where is Howard Baker? Where are the people who are willing to go beyond their party to look to their duty?”
Schiff compared Trump’s insistence that there was “no quid pro quo” to Nixon’s infamous proclamation of “I’m not a crook.”
“[W]hat we’ve seen here is far more serious than a third-rate burglary of the Democratic headquarters,” Schiff said, speaking of Watergate. “What we’re talking about here is the withholding of recognition in that White House meeting. The withholding of military aid to an ally at war. That is beyond anything Nixon did.”
Democrats believe that Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rivals. Republicans have dismissed the process surrounding impeachment, saying it is a partisan process intended solely to remove Trump from office out of hostility.
Schiff argued there was in fact a quid pro quo tying a White House meeting to a request for investigations that Trump wanted. He also claimed that extended even to U.S. security assistance for Ukraine.
The chairman addressed GOP defense that much of the testimony is based on “hearsay” by arguing that multiple witnesses provided direct and credible evidence and that their accounts should not be dismissed just because they weren’t in the room with the president.
“There is nothing more dangerous than an unethical president who believes they are above the law. And I would just say to people watching at home and around the world … we are better than that,” Schiff said. Then he emphatically gaveled the hearing to a close.
Written by Rich Stevenson
Credit: The Hill