House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff focused intently on Russia during his opening argument in the Senate Impeachment trial on Wednesday.
Schiff repeated the word “Russia,” “Russian,” or “Russians” about 30 times during his over two-hour opening speech, according to a rough transcript of the hearing. Schiff repeated widely-debunked conspiracy theories that Trump intentionally colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Schiff also repeatedly referred to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin to accuse Trump of siding with them to pressure the Ukrainians.
Much of Schiff’s opening remarks retreaded existing arguments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that found no collusion with Russia and included repeated references to the Mueller report and his testimony to Congress.
Schiff also repeatedly claimed that Trump had continued to back Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine and accused the president of spreading Russian lies about Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election.
He said that Trump had “embraced Russian activity and disinformation” rather than standing by the United States’ allies in Ukraine.
“The United States aids Ukraine and the people so that we can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here,” he said.