May 12, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Schiff: Trump's obstruction of Congress "does add weight to impeachment"

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC's "This Week" that President Trump's stonewalling of congressional oversight — which he considers further obstruction of justice — adds weight to some Democrats' calls for impeachment, but that it may simply be Trump's "perverse way" of dividing the country further.

"Yes, it's certainly true that these additional acts of obstruction — the president having obstructed the Justice Department investigation, now obstructing Congress — does add weight to impeachment. But part of our reluctance is we are already a bitterly divided country and an impeachment process will divide us further. Once we get started, it's like pushing a boulder off the side of a cliff. It gathers a certain momentum of its own until it hits rock bottom, which is the Senate, and then we're like Sisyphus trying to push that boulder back up the hill.
He may get us there. He certainly seems to be trying, and maybe this is his perverse way of dividing us more. And as you heard in the clip earlier, he thinks that's to his political advantage, but it's certainly not to the country's advantage."

The big picture: Schiff — who along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have cautioned against impeachment — noted that he has always said that Congress should wait to see special counsel Robert Mueller's findings before making any decisions. He said that it is now a priority to get Mueller to testify before Congress, since Attorney General Bill Barr has proven to be an unreliable narrator, and that he is convinced that it will happen — despite negotiations for Mueller to appear on May 15 falling through.

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