House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) claimed Friday evening that 50,000 Americans died because the Senate failed to remove President Donald Trump from office during the impeachment trial in February.
Schiff’s argument runs counter to those who have argued that the impeachment trial was a pointless distraction that prevented Congress from acting to help stop the pandemic. A timeline of events reveals that President Trump took the first actions against the pandemic despite the trial, including forming the coronavirus task force, and banning travel with China.
Schiff told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes:
There is one thing that, really, I have to say haunts me from the trial and it was before that snippet you showed where we knew we had to answer the question to the senators, okay, essentially, house managers, you’ve proved him guilty [sic] , does he really need to be removed after all? we have an election in nine months. how much damage could he really do? and we posed that question to the Senate and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage but frankly, chris, I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead. There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead, in significant part because of his incompetence, because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don’t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence would be so fatal to the American people.
.@RepAdamSchiff suggests “50,000 Americans” are dead because Trump wasn’t impeached
Republicans said “How much damage could he really do? … I don’t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do … There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead” pic.twitter.com/QGH941MSlk
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 25, 2020
The House — after a four-week delay — transferred the articles of impeachment to the Senate on Jan. 15, the day the first coronavirus patient arrived in the U.S. from Wuhan, China. Congress did nothing about the pandemic during the trial. Meanwhile, the president formed the coronavirus task force the week of Jan. 27 and imposed the travel ban on Jan. 31.
The Democrat-controlled House held its first hearing on coronavirus on Feb. 5 — the day Trump was acquitted in the Senate.
Schiff, who said nothing about coronavirus in its early days, is now pushing for legislation to create a “9/11 commission” for evaluating the president’s response to the pandemic. Opponents counter that he is trying to exploit the issue for the election.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.