Wednesday MSNBC played live House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) press conference on Capitol Hill.
Schiff said the newly released transcript of a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a “classic mafia-like shakedown.”
Schiff said, “This is more damning than I and others had imagined. 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.”
He continued, “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 that 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. It’s clear the Ukraine president understands exactly what is expected of him and is making every effort to mollify the president. What adds another layer of depravity to this conversation is the fact that the president of the United States then invokes the attorney general of the United States as well as his personal lawyer as emissaries, in the case of the attorney general, as an official head of a U.S. Department of Justice, to be part and parcel of this.”
He added, “I think in its most naked form, and this is what our inquiry is going to look into, the president has now admitted the notes of this call, and we don’t even know if this is the complete notes of that call, indicate the president of the United States shaking down a foreign leader, essentially undermining the national security of this country, for a personal political gain and one that violates his oath of office.”
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