Adam Schiff: Trump’s Ukraine actions constitute bribery. ‘That’s exactly what’s gone on here.’
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff said in an interview Tuesday that President Trump’s actions vis-a-vis Ukraine meet the constitutional definition of bribery — but that it’s the Judiciary Committee that must decide whether to recommend impeaching him on those grounds.
“This is certainly, I think, what the founders had in mind when they used that word in the Constitution,” Schiff (D-Calif.) said, defining “bribery” as “the offer of or performance of official acts, in exchange or something of value; the betrayal of a public trust to get something of personal or political value.
“That’s exactly what’s gone on here.”
Schiff spoke with The Washington Post after releasing a lengthy report summarizing committee Democrats’ findings from their weeks-long impeachment inquiry.
The document concluded that Trump and his subordinates “conditioned official acts on a public announcement by the new Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, on politically-motivated investigations, including one into President Trump’s domestic political opponent.” But it stopped short of recommending that Trump be impeached for what Schiff said those words constitute: bribery, which is one of the premises upon which the Constitution says Congress may remove a president from office.
Other Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have suggested that Trump engaged in bribery. But Schiff’s comments defining the House Democrats’ official findings as such appear to put a marker down for the Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled to draft articles of impeachment in the next week.
“The fact that the founders provided a remedy didn’t mean that the founders had to use it,” Schiff said. “And so we will have to decide whether to use that remedy and if so, in what way to frame those articles.”
The report states plainly Democrats’ belief that Trump has obstructed Congress, and that it is a crime to intimidate witnesses, perhaps foreshadowing two additional impeachment articles…….read more
Source: Washington Post