House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told National Public Radio (NPR) on Tuesday that President Donald Trump was guilty of “bribery,” though his committee’s own report largely ignored that claim.
Democrats pushed the 300-page report through the committee on a party-line vote Tuesday evening, just hours after its release. Republicans were allowed to read the Democrats’ report the night before, but could only read it in the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, and could only do so in the presence of a Democrat “minder” who would ensure Republicans would not leak or distribute its contents.
Republicans released their own dissenting minority report on Monday, arguing Trump had done nothing wrong.
As Breitbart News reported earlier on Tuesday, the Democrats’ report fails to cite specific grounds for impeaching the president.
Throughout the report, there are only five mentions of “bribery.” One occurs when the report quotes the Constitution’s Impeachment Clause, providing impeachment and removal as the remedy only in the case of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Three other mentions cite claims by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that former Vice President Joe Biden might have been involved in bribery because of his conflict of interest in Ukraine. The only other mention is merely a reference to support congressional investigative powers.
At no point does the report make a case that Trump committed bribery.
Yet Schiff told NPR in an interview: “I don’t think there’s any question that the uncontested facts show this president solicited a bribe. … Bribery … most importantly in terms of what the founders had in mind, that is conditioning an official act for something of value.”
The report merely asserts that “the President was withholding officials [sic] acts while soliciting something of value to his reelection campaign—an investigation into his political rival.” It ignores evidence from witnesses who testified that there was no connection between withholding security assistance and investigations into Biden. It also ignores the explicit testimony of witnesses who said they never saw or heard about any solicitation of a bribe.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.