Schiff says House GOP hasn’t taken advantage of depositions
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Schiff says House GOP hasn’t taken advantage of depositions


NICK SCHIFRIN: Now that the U.S. House of
Representatives has approved rules for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry, what
happens now? Democrat Adam Schiff of California is the
chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is playing a central role in the impeachment
effort. Chairman Schiff, thank you very much. Welcome to the “NewsHour.” Today’s vote was entirely along party lines. How do you convince the public that this is
not a partisan attempt to, as the president says, overturn the election? REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, I think by letting
the public hear from the witnesses themselves. At the end of the day, this is all about the
facts, what are the facts. And I think the American people will see that
there are very serious problems with the president’s conduct, grave problems, in terms of his abuse
of the powers of that office, his sacrificing of U.S. interests, our national security interests,
in favor of personal and political interests. So, I think the best way to show the American
people why we had to take this serious step of moving forward with our impeachment inquiry
will be allowing the American people to hear firsthand from those that were eyewitnesses
to this kind of abuse of power. NICK SCHIFRIN: Republicans call your effort
a partisan crusade against a president you have never liked. You yourself for years have been criticizing
many of President Trump’s national security decisions. Do Republicans have a point? Are you going after a president that you haven’t
liked long before Ukraine became an issue? REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Well, it is certainly true that
I take serious issues with the president on matters of policy, on matters of character
and ethics, on his propensity for falsehood. But my Republican colleagues conveniently
forget the fact that, for a long time, I was one of the relatively few senior members who
was urging us not to move forward with a formal impeachment proceeding, that we should take
the process one step at a time, learn the facts, that we shouldn’t rush to embrace this
extraordinary remedy. It was only when this most serious conduct
came to light that I felt like we had no choice. NICK SCHIFRIN: Of course, there are questions
of the procedures for that impeachment, which are not written in the Constitution. The procedures that you passed today prevent
Republicans from issuing subpoenas, unless Democrats approve or unless you personally
approve. Why not give them the opportunity to submit
their own subpoenas? REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Well, this is the same process
and the same procedures that were used during the Clinton impeachment and the Nixon impeachment,
although it has been represented otherwise by my GOP friends. The minority didn’t have unilateral subpoena
power. They could compel a vote. And that’s the right that we give them here. But we have seen from a lot of my GOP colleagues,
with their storming into the SCIF and their histrionics, a fundamental lack of seriousness,
indeed, a view that they exist to do the president’s will, to be the president’s defenders. When the president says, you have got to be
more aggressive, they decide to be more aggressive. When the president says, you have got to do
this stunt, they go and do that stunt. That is not a group you can give unilateral
subpoena authority to. A lot of the same people complaining about
this secret chamber have refused to take advantage of the fact that they could participate. When the transcripts are released, the American
people will see that, in fact, it was eminently fair, that every Republican who had a question
got their questions answered. NICK SCHIFRIN: Mr. Chairman, I have only have
so much time. I’m sorry to interrupt you. REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Yes. NICK SCHIFRIN: But you just said when the
transcripts are released. When will those transcripts are — released? And when will these public hearings take place,
which you just voted on, even though you still have private depositions scheduled for Monday? REP. ADAM SCHIFF: In terms of when the transcripts
will be released, that was authorized by the resolution just passed today. And we expect to begin releasing them very
soon. We still have to… NICK SCHIFRIN: Do you have a sense of timing? REP. ADAM SCHIFF: You know, I think early next
week is probably the realistic time. And we still need to go through some of the
transcripts and excise any potentially classified information or personal information. But they will be released very soon. NICK SCHIFRIN: Chairman, we just got word
that a judge has ruled that Mr. Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser,
will not be compelled to testify, or at least there won’t be a decision about whether he
will be compelled to testify until at least December 10. That will affect him and his former boss National
Security Adviser John Bolton. Do you have a response to that? REP. ADAM SCHIFF: In this case, there is no standing
to sue in federal court if you don’t like a congressional subpoena. So, we have every confidence that that suit
will fail. But the whole goal of it is to delay. It’s part of the obstruction effort by the
administration. And as they obstruct the impeachment inquiry,
they are just building the case for an article of impeachment based on obstruction. So, even as they try to prevent us from getting
relevant information — and we believe that Dr. Kupperman has relevant information on
the issues at the core of our investigation — even as they try to prevent those facts
from coming to light — and I certainly expect that, if the administration thought those
would be helpful to the president, he would be coming in. They must conclude that they are incriminating
of the president. But they are merely building the case for
obstruction of Congress. NICK SCHIFRIN: And will you delay your public
hearings until you have a final word on Dr. Kupperman and John Bolton? REP. ADAM SCHIFF: It fully is my expectation that
we would see with the administration the same kind of delay tactics rope-a-dope. If they lose in the district court, they will
appeal to the court of appeals. If they lose there, they will ask for an en
banc hearing. So I think Dr. Kupperman understands that
he’s going to lose that litigation. Indeed, he will be found not have standing,
but, apparently, it is his desire to try to avoid testifying, avoid the obligation and
the duty that others have had the courage to undertake. NICK SCHIFRIN: Adam Schiff, Democrat of California,
chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, thank you very much. ADAM SCHIFF: Thank you.

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