As President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress continue to accuse House Democrats of turning the impeachment process into a partisan political weapon, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff fired back on Sunday, claiming he would have voted to impeach former President Barack Obama if he committed the same actions as Donald Trump.
According to The Hill, Schiff made the comment during an interview on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Schiff took the opportunity to slam Republicans for backing the president during the impeachment inquiry process.
He went on to comment on comparisons made between Trump’s impeachment and that of former President Richard Nixon’s infamous Watergate scandal, claiming that Trump’s dealings with Ukraine for potential political gain are a much more serious offense.
“If anything, this president’s conduct is far worse than anything Nixon did, far more sweeping in its obstruction of accountability, far more damaging to our national security than the cover-up that was Watergate,” Schiff said.
Hitting Republicans who’ve remained steadfast in defending Trump’s actions during the July 25 call with the president of Ukraine, Schiff rhetorically asked why they would continue to do that.
“The question is, why are Republicans placing this president above their oath of office?”
The California lawmaker then claimed that if Obama committed similar offenses, Trump’s Republicans wouldn’t have hesitated to pursue the Democratic president’s impeachment.
“I don’t think any of us have any question that had Barack Obama engaged in the activity, the conduct which is the subject of these articles of impeachment, every one of these Republicans would be voting to impeach him,” Schiff claimed.
Schiff then said that hypothetically if it were Obama, he’s confident he would have voted to impeach him as well.
“And you know something, I have to hope to hell, George, if it were Barack Obama, I would vote to impeach him,” Schiff said.
Schiff’s thoughts on the situation came in the wake of the drafting of two articles of impeachment against Trump, which included one for obstruction of Congress and another for abuse of power. That came after weeks of deliberation by House committees and several rounds of live television witness testimony which guided House Democrats on how to proceed in the impeachment inquiry.
House Democrats are expected to formally vote on Trump’s impeachment in the coming week and given their majority in the House, the vote is expected to pass. Assuming it does, the matter will be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate for an official trial to determine whether or not to remove Trump from the White House.