January 29, 2020

Rep. Adam Schiff held a press conference after the White House legal team finished their opening statements (rather abruptly, and with lots of time remaining) Tuesday afternoon. Top of mind, of course, was the issue of witnesses, and whether the Dems are considering negotiating any "trades" that Republicans have floated in order to get the votes to secure them. The GOP have not so much been offering good-faith negotiations, but rather threats as to who will suffer and what they'll suffer in exchange for legitimate, germane witnesses to inform the Senators on the details of the case before them.

Mind you, this was before news broke that Mitch McConnell said he did not have enough votes to BLOCK witnesses, but that changes nothing about the strength of Rep. Schiff's stance and answer to reporter Kasie Hunt's question. She asked him if he himself was prepared to be "dragged" into this, since that is one of the GOP threats. If the good guys want Bolton, the bad guys want Schiff. Or Hunter Biden. Or Joe Biden. It's only fair, they say.

Rep. Schiff answered back in the sharpest, most cogent way articulated so far about why that type of agreement is not only untenable, but completely unnecessary.

REP. SCHIFF: In terms of the sort of red herrings, if we're going to call, "If the House Managers want to call relevant witnesses, we want to call irrelevant ones, because we want to make them pay a price for getting witnesses that are at the heart of this scheme." That's not a game we're interested in playing.

HUNT: But you may have to?

REP. SCHIFF: I can tell you what my testimony is, he's guilty and he should be impeached. I think the idea is an absurd one, but then, this is the idea you have to fall back on when you know how damaging John Bolton's testimony is going to be. You could say the same of Hunter Biden. If they want to call a witness-for-witness, then let them call Mick Mulvaney. Mick Mulvaney has said he disputes what John Bolton has to say. Let them call Mick Mulvaney. Let them call Secretary Pompeo. Let them call people that are percipient witnesses to this scandal and this corrupt scheme, if they want a witness-for-witness. But, that's not really what they want. They want a distraction, and I don't think the Senators want to allow their proceedings to be turned into a circus.

It was brilliant. The GOP wants to punish the Dems for holding their guy accountable for his crimes. Rep. Schiff's not going to play that game. If they want their own witnesses, let them call the ones that refute Bolton's testimony. LIke Mick Mulvaney. Like Mike Pompeo. You know, the ones who swear up and down that Trump has done absolutely nothing wrong. Not Hunter Biden, who was nothing more than the excuse for Trump's extortion attempt. Not Joe Biden, who is nothing more than the politician Trump fears would beat him. And not Adam Schiff, who has conducted this trial in a way that is flawless, moving, and dare I say it — unimpeachable.

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