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Adam Schiff Argues For Trump's Removal: 'If Truth Doesn't Matter, We're Lost'

Rep. Adam Schiff's closing argument on Day 2 of the Impeachment Trial was a moment when he spoke for the soul of the nation.
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On the second day of House managers' presentation of evidence, the day was spent making the case that Donald Trump abused the power of his office to extort Ukraine's newly-elected president into interfering in the 2020 election by announcing an investigation into Hunter Biden.

That took around 8 1/2 hours or so. And then Adam Schiff stepped up to close for the day. Instead of summarizing the mountain of evidence they presented proving the abuse of power charge, Schiff went straight to the heart of the matter: Why Trump should be removed from office.

It was, as Aliza observed, as if he reached into the national soul and spoke for us all, at least those of us who still believe in truth and fact.

"He's guilty, you know -- is there really any doubt about this, do we really have any doubt about the facts here? Does anybody really question whether the president is capable of what he's charged with?" he asked rhetorically, and of course everyone who believes in the truth nodded along but no one thought any Republican in the room would nod and indeed they didn't. That didn't matter. He was just warming up.

"No one is really making the argument, Donald Trump would never do such a thing," he said. "Because of course we know that he would. And of course we know that he did."

Here's the punch line.

The American people deserve a president they can count on to put their interests first, to put their interest first. Colonel Vindman said, here, right matters. Here, right matters.

Well, let me tell you something. If right doesn't matter, if right doesn't matter, it doesn't matter how good the constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the framers were. It doesn't matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. It doesn't matter how well-written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If truth doesn't matter, we're lost. The framers couldn't protect us from ourselves, if right and truth don't matter. And you know that what he did was not right.

When you get to the end of this speech -- and I can't stress enough how much I want you to watch it -- I dare you not to feel as though he reached straight into all the bruised and battered places in our national psyche and spoke for every one of us. He did speak for every one of us. Every one. Plainly, and simply but with such honesty and passion.

Here are some of the reactions:

Oh good, they were listening. Because they all need to not just listen but hear. Hear what he said. The republic depends upon it.

The full transcript is below.

But even now, our ally can't get his foot in the door. Even now, our ally can't get his foot in the door. And this brings me to the last point I want to make tonight, which is, when we're done, we believe that we will have made the case overwhelmingly of the president's guilt.

That is, he's done what he's charged with. He withheld the money. He withheld the meeting. He used it to coerce Ukraine to do these political investigations. He covered it up. He obstructed us. He's trying to obstruct you. And he's violated the constitution.

But I want to address one other thing tonight. Okay, he's guilty. Okay, he's guilty. Does he really need to be removed? Does he really need to be removed? We have an election coming up. Does he really need to be removed? He's guilty, you know, is there really any doubt about this, do we really have any doubt about the facts here? Does anybody really question whether the president is capable of what he's charged with?

No one is really making the argument, Donald Trump would never do such a thing. Because of course we know that he would. And of course we know that he did.

It's a somewhat different question, though, to ask, okay, it's pretty obvious, whether we can say it publicly or we can't say it publicly, we all know what we're dealing here with this president. But does he really need to be removed?

This is why he needs to be removed. Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani over his own intelligence agencies. He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own FBI director. He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own national security advisers. When all of them were telling him this Ukraine 2016 stuff is kooky crazy Russian propaganda, he chose not to believe them. He chose to believe Rudy Giuliani. That makes him dangerous. To us, to our country.

That was Donald Trump's choice. Now, why would Donald Trump believe a man like Rudy Giuliani over a man like Christopher Wray? Okay? Why would anyone in their right mind believe Rudy Giuliani over Christopher Wray? Because he wanted to, and because what Rudy was offering him was something that that would help him personally. And what Christopher Wray was offering him was merely the truth. What Christopher Wray was offering him was merely the information he needed to protect his country and its elections.

But that's not good enough. What's in it for him? What's in it for Donald Trump? This is why he needs to be removed.

Now, you may be asking, how much damage can he really do in the next several months until the election? A lot. A lot of damage. Now, we just saw last week a report that Russia tried to hack or maybe did hack Burisma, okay? I don't know if they got in. I'm trying to find out. My colleagues on the Intel committee, House and Senate, we're trying to find out.

Did the Russians get in? What are the Russians' plans and intentions? Let's say they got in. And let's say they start dumping documents to interfere in the next election. Let's say they've started dumping some real things they hacked from Burisma. Let's say they start dumping some fake things they didn't hack from Burisma but they want you to think they did. Let's say they start interfering in our election again to help Donald Trump.

Can you have the least bit of confidence that Donald Trump will stand up to them and protect our national interest over his own personal interest? You know you can't. Which makes him dangerous to this country. You know you can't. You know you can't count on him. None of us can. None of us can.

What happens if China got the message? Now, you can say, well, he's just joking, of course, he didn't really mean China should investigate the Bidens. You know that's no joke. Now, maybe you could have argued three years ago when he said, hey, Russia, if you're listening, hack Hillary's emails. Maybe you could give him a freebie and say he was joking. But now we know better. Hours after he did that, we know Russia in fact tried to hack Hillary's emails.

There's no mulligan here when it comes to our national security. So what if China does overtly or covertly start to help the Trump campaign? You think he's going to call them out on it? Or do you think he's going to give them a better trade deal on it? Can any of us really have the confidence that Donald Trump will put his personal interests ahead of the national interests? Is there really any evidence in this presidency that should give us the ironclad confidence that he would do so? You know you can't count on him to do that. That's the sad truth. You know you can't count on him to do that.

The American people deserve a president they can count on to put their interests first, to put their interest first. Colonel Vindman said, here, right matters. Here, right matters.

Well, let me tell you something. If right doesn't matter, if right doesn't matter, it doesn't matter how good the constitution is. It doesn't matter how brilliant the framers were. It doesn't matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. It doesn't matter how well-written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn't matter, we're lost. If truth doesn't matter, we're lost. The framers couldn't protect us from ourselves, if right and truth don't matter. And you know that what he did was not right.

You know, that's what they do in the old country, that Colonel Vindman's father came from or the old country that my great-grandfather came from, or the old countries that your ancestors came from or that maybe you came from.

But here, right is supposed to matter. It's what's made us the greatest nation on earth. No constitution can protect us if right doesn't matter anymore. And you know you can't trust this president to do what's right for this country. You can trust he will do what's right for Donald Trump. He'll do it now. He's done it before. He'll do it for the next several months. He'll do it in the election if he's allowed to.

This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.

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