House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday that “there is not a simple answer” to the looming question of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Newsweek reports.
Schiff appeared on Meet The Press to discuss with host Chuck Todd, among other issues, the Democrats’ strategy moving forward. The California Congressman appeared indecisive on the issue of impeachment, suggesting that the Democratic Party is facing a tough decision.
According to Schiff, if the Democrats move forward with impeachment, and even if they manage to impeach Trump, the GOP-controlled Senate will likely not convict him, which could send a message that obstruction of justice — which is what Trump is being accused of — is not an impeachable offense.
“The jury I’m most worried about, not the Senate because I think that’s a preordained conclusion, is the American people. Can we make the case to the American people? I want to make sure that’s true before we go down that path because it’s going to occupy a year of the nation’s time.”
Responding to Schiff’s argument, Todd read a segment of a column from New York Magazine‘s Andrew Sullivan. In the op-ed, Sullivan argued that House Democrats’ refusal to pursue impeachment — coupled with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accusations that Trump is committing crimes against the Constitution — would not only send the wrong message, but set a dangerous precedent effectively “nullifying” impeachment power.
Schiff conceded that Sullivan makes a valid point, stating that “there is not a simple answer here.”
“I worry equally, Chuck, about taking an impeachment case to trial, losing that case, having the president acquitted and having an adjudication that this conduct is not impeachable,” he said.
The Congressman also said that ongoing and recently-launched investigations do not constitute an impeachment inquiry — they are rather a “preliminary” to an impeachment investigation.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 28, 2019
For the Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before House Intelligence and Judiciary committees was key to making a determination about impeachment. But, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, Mueller’s unconvincing performance — the former FBI director appeared confused and unfamiliar with his own investigation’s findings — has not moved the needle, at least when it comes to public opinion.
According to multiple polls, nothing has changed in the eyes of the American public, which remains divided along partisan lines, with less than half of surveyed Americans supporting an inquiry. Most Americans appear to have already made up their mind about President Trump, and about the Russia investigation, so the testimony has had little to no effect on public perception.
Support for impeachment is growing among House Democrats, however. According to NBC News, more than 100 of them support launching an inquiry.