Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said at Northwestern University on Thursday that the House Democrats “might be forced to move forward on impeaching President Donald Trump before being able to ‘flesh out the facts,’” which he blamed on the White House’s “obstructionist acts and delay tactics.”
The Chicago Tribune led its reporting on Schiff’s speech at the college – known for its journalism programs – with Schiff’s claim, despite the fact that the when Democrats raised concerns about the president’s phone conversation with the Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump released the transcript from the call.
The Tribune reported on Schiff’s claim that Trump asked Zelenskiy and other foreign leaders to interfere in the U.S. elections, one of the most “pernicious threats to our democracy” coming from a presidency.
And he’s in a hurry to impeach a duly elected president.
“I’m certainly concerned that there’s a need to act expeditiously here,” said Schif, who is leading the investigation as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “We don’t want this to drag on forever.”
At the same time, (the White House has) apparently every incentive to try to make it drag on forever. And there may very well come a point where we have to make the decision that the effort to obstruct has become such an impediment that we have reached a decision point — even in the absence of being able to fully follow and flesh out the facts surrounding the president’s Ukraine conduct.
The Tribune reported on Schiff’s speech:
Schiff, a former federal prosecutor from California who is in his 10th term in the House, made the remarks while delivering Northwestern’s 30th annual Richard W. Leopold Lecture. His talk was entitled “The Threat to Liberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.”
Schiff’s visit came just hours after Trump doubled-down on his call for foreign government investigations involving potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The Tribune did not include in its reporting that the government of Ukraine has already conducted an investigation into Hunter Biden’s employment with an oil company in that country when his father was Vice President.
“Schiff said the Founding Fathers would have considered Trump’s request for foreign involvement in domestic elections ‘an offense of the greatest magnitude,’” the Tribune reported.
I think one of the most pernicious threats to our democracy is one that’s been revealed in just the last couple of weeks — and that is the president of the United States would use the full power of his office to attempt to coerce a foreign leader, the leader of another country … beholden to the United States for its defense, for its economy, for diplomatic support, (and) abuse the power of his office to coerce that country into intervening in our election on his behalf by investigating his political rival.
“Asked if he had a favorite nickname from Trump, Schiff criticized the president for using social media to invite ‘violence,’ such as referring to those who oppose him as a ‘traitor or spy,’” the Tribune reported.
“I don’t have a favorite nickname, and I wish he would spend more time attending to the business of the country than making up new ones,” Schiff said.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter @PennyStarrDC