House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday that “there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo” agreement between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian government for impeachment to move forward, RealClearPolitics reports.
Schiff appeared on CBS’s Face The Nation to discuss the latest developments in the Trump-Ukraine scandal.
The top Democrat told host Margaret Brennan that investigations suggest Trump and his allies meticulously planned their actions, looking for a way to establish a relationship with Ukraine’s newly-elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, before pressuring his government.
According to Schiff, evidence suggests that Trump and his team promised to set up a meeting between Trump and Zelensky — “something the Ukrainian president deeply sought” — if Ukraine delivers dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.
“So, you see [the call itself] as the quid quo pro, not just the military aid,” Brennan said.
Schiff responded by explaining that he does not believe there even needs to be an explicit quid pro quo between Trump and the Ukrainian government for the president’s actions to be considered an impeachable offense.
“Well, first of all, there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo,” he said.
Schiff added that evidence shows Ukraine “was being conditioned on their willingness to intervene in the U.S. election to help the president.”
“Here you have a president of the United States abusing his power to the detriment of our national security to get another country to intervene in our election. It is hard to imagine more of a corruption of his office than that.”
According to Schiff, although there are “strong indications” that allegations that Trump threatened to withdraw military aid unless the Ukrainian government investigates the Bidens are true as well, the president’s conversation with Zelensky is in and of itself an impeachable offense.
According to a complaint filed by an anonymous intelligence community whistleblower, in an effort to damage Biden’s presidential campaign Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son. According to the complaint, Trump also threatened to cut military aid unless Ukraine does as he says.
A transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky has also been released. The transcript, according to impeachment advocates, corroborates the whistleblower’s claims, showing that the president indeed — although not explicitly — threatened to cut aid unless Ukraine digs up dirt on the Bidens.
A majority of the American public is already in favor of impeachment, polls suggest. According to a recent Fox News poll, 51 percent of voters believe Trump should be impeached and removed from the White House, and an additional four percent believe that he should be impeached but not removed.