Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Adam Schiff: Trump should have to testify under oath

Adam Schiff: Trump should have to testify under oath

Schiff, whose powerful panel is probing any foreign influence on Trump and his associates, cited the emergence of checks that show Trump made a series of $35,000 payments to longtime lawyer Michael Cohen while in office as evidence of an illegal campaign finance scheme that would merit his being charged with a crime.

"It's very hard to make the argument that the person who was directed and was coordinated should go to jail but the person who did the directing and did the coordinating should not", Schiff said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. "That, however, does not let the Justice Department off the hook". But Schiff believes that the department should reconsider this position, or indict Trump if he loses re-election in 2020. "There may be grounds for removal from office or there may be grounds for indictment after he leaves office that the Congress discovers".

Barr is required to notify the top Republicans and Democrats of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees at the conclusion of Mueller's investigation but can determine how much of the report is released publicly. Pelosi and others argue that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller or other investigators could uncover evidence of wrongdoing by Trump so egregious that it may compel a bipartisan case for impeachment.

The congressman later said if neither Mueller nor Congress finds "sufficient evidence", they will end the conversation about impeachment. "The only thing worse than putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment is putting the country through the trauma of a failed impeachment".

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Schiff said he believes there is both "direct and circumstantial evidence" of collusion between the President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, and "whether that evidence amounts to beyond a reasonable doubt of criminal conspiracy, we have to wait for Bob Mueller on that".

"Well, if there's insufficient evidence in the Mueller report and we're not able to produce sufficient evidence in our own investigation, that ends the inquiry", Schiff explained.

"If the Justice Department either attempts to hide the Mueller report or the underlying evidence, then requiring Mueller to testify may very well be necessary", Schiff said.

Schiff's comments echoed Pelosi's, who told The Washington Post recently, in the most unequivocal language yet, that she would not support impeachment because it wasn't worth the potential fallout.

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