Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) once again faked the dialogue of the July 2019 telephone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday during the Senate impeachment trial.
Schiff, presenting a rebuttal argument in a debate over whether to subpoena acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, claimed that the president had asked Zelensky, “I have a favor to ask, though,” implying that he sought a personal and political favor.
The president’s actual words in the transcript of the call were: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot.”
Democrats have consistently tried to erase the word “us,” or replace it with the word “me.” One Democrat legal expert even tried to argue in the House Judiciary Committee that Trump had intended “us” to mean “the royal ‘we’.”
At the opening of the House Intelligence Committee’s public impeachment inquiry hearings last year, Schiff, in his role as chairman, faked virtually the entire dialogue between Trump and Ukraine to create an impression that the U.S. president was bullying and extorting his Ukrainian counterpart.
One of the lines Schiff invented was: “I have a favor I want from you, though.”
When called out by Republicans at the time for deliberately distorting the actual text of the transcript — which had been released by the White House voluntarily — Schiff claimed he was performing a “parody.”
After misquoting the transcript again on Tuesday, Schiff went on to make another misleading argument in his response to a statement by Deputy White House Counsel Mark Purpura, who noted that security assistance to Ukraine had not been mentioned in the Ukraine call.
Schiff noted that Trump and Zelensky had discussed Javelin anti-tank missiles. But that was not the “security assistance” that was withheld from Ukraine. As numerous witnesses in Schiff’s own committee testified, the Javelins were not implicated and there was never any interruption in military aid.
Schiff also misled the Senate on at least one other occasion Tuesday, telling it that President Trump had never raised the issue of corruption in Ukraine before — neither in 2017 nor in 2018.
In fact, one of the witnesses Schiff’s committee called in closed-door hearings testified that she personally heard Trump berate former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko — in front of his delegation — about Ukrainian corruption in 2017.
On Tuesday, Politico also reported that Schiff “may have mischaracterized” evidence contained in text messages from Lev Parnas, the indicted former associate of presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Schiff allegedly claimed in a letter last week to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) that the letter “Z” in a text message referred to Zelensky, when in fact it referred to Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma — the notorious Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, held a well-compensated seat.
The Senate ultimately voted 53-47 to table to motion to subpoena Mulvaney, as it had voted on the Democrats’ previous two motions for subpoenas of witnesses and documents that the House had either failed to seek during the impeachment inquiry, or had failed to wait for a court to compel.
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.