In a master prosecutorial performance at the Senate impeachment trial, Adam Schiff proved Trump pressured Ukraine President Zelensky to announce an investigation into presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden for his political gain. He introduced evidence Trump withheld crucially needed military aid to Ukraine that Congress had approved. Video testimony from Trump-appointed career State Department officials working in Ukraine supported the accusation of a quid pro quo. These testimonies occurred during the impeachment inquiry to expose the role Trump played in the Ukraine scheme. The video was shown of Mick Mulvaney admitting to the withholding of aid in return to investigate Biden.
Mr. Schiff brilliantly laid out the timeline of the scheme pairing exact dates, text messages, and witness testimony. Rudy Giuliani carried out Trump’s order to fire Ambassador Marie Yovanovich without cause, disparaging her in the process. The scheme, Schiff explained, aimed to remove Yovanovich’s skilled oversight of corruption so the investigation to damage Joe Biden could go forward. The timeline presented to the Senate showed how the whistleblower report exposed the scheme, which prompted Trump to release the military aid because he had been caught.
Republicans claim Trump releasing the aid exonerates him of wrongdoing, but Schiff skillfully negated that defense. He passionately repeated to the Senators Trump abused his power to obtain something of value (announcement to investigate Joe Biden) from a foreign government by withholding something they desperately needed ( military aid to fight Russian aggression).
It was chilling to hear Schiff warnTrump’s obstruction of Congress is proof he is hiding evidence that would prove he committed high crimes and misdemeanors. He urged the Senators to approve the introduction of witnesses and documents to discover the truth about Trump’s behavior. Declaring Trump guilty or innocent with facts was a point the House Managers made over and over again.
It was inevitable that Schiff would address the House’s view that Trump’s character flaws present a threat to the integrity of the presidency and to national security. Dishonesty, hostility, and vindictiveness were traits Schiff warned would destroy the structure and morality of democracy. He warned, “a president who lies and breaks laws for political gain will transform America into a corrupt country in the image of an autocracy, like Russia.
Schiff concluded by warning the Senators that any of them are vulnerable to be the next victim of one of Trump’s vindictive assaults. He acknowledged the pressure they must feel to fall in line with Trump to avoid his abuse. But he reminded the Senators they are jurors sworn to support a fair trial and to protect the Constitu party.
All the House Managers followed Schiff’s lead to present facts that support the articles of impeachment. No matter your party affiliation, it is indisputable that Adam Schiff, is a brilliant lawyer, passionate public servant, and proud American.
If the frightened Senators would stop caving into Trump, they might realize if they banned together, they have the power to prevent his corrupt behavior. He would look really crazy if he attacked half the Senate for standing up to him. Senators could end the president’s reign of bullying and corruption today if they would unite.