The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, the leader of the impeachment managers, delivered a thorough and compelling opening statement on Wednesday to make the case in the Senate against President Donald Trump.

For more than two hours, Schiff recounted the facts that the inquiry in the House uncovered and argued that Trump abused his power in trying to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations of his domestic political enemies. He emphasized the significance of this effort and, in particular, the national security implications of Trump’s effort to withhold congressionally approve military aid to Ukraine. And he linked the Trump’s corrupt scheme with Ukraine to the president’s broader effort to benefit from foreign election interference, including Russia’s in 2016.

To bolster his case, Schiff made frequent and effective use of video clips from both the House hearings and of administration officials themselves, such as Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, speaking in other contexts.

Here are five of the most compelling moments from Schiff’s statement:

1. Schiff explained why Trump’s defense of asking for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden is unbelievable.

2. Schiff threw Mulvaney’s own words at a press briefing — admitting that there was a quid pro quo for an investigation with Ukraine — back at the administration.

3. He highlighted a section of the Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is often forgotten but shows that the foreign leader understood the White House’s ask was a part of a quid pro quo.

4. He appealed to Republicans about broader principles about presidential conduct, rather than just focusing on what Trump has done. And he argued that the White House’s position puts the president above the law.

5. Schiff tied Trump’s effort to get Ukraine’s election help to the moment suspicions about the president’s foreign ties first began: his solicitation of Russia’s help in 2016.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Trump flags wave on the morning of the Jan. 6, 2021 pro-Trump Capitol insurrection.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

There aren't many polling questions these days that draw 90 percent-plus agreement, but Americans are united by one central idea: They believe the country should remain a democracy.

Keep reading... Show less

Close