The Slatest

Schiff: No New Mueller Indictments Doesn’t Mean Impeachment is Off the Table

Adam Schiff speaks to the media at the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Adam Schiff speaks to the media at the U.S. Capitol on March 6, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Rep. Adam Schiff thinks it’s far too soon to come to any conclusions about what actions could be taken from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. “It’s really too early to make those judgments. We need to see the report and then we’ll all have a factual basis,” Schiff said on ABC’s This Week. “In the absence of those facts, those judgments are impossible to make.” Even though many Republicans have been celebrating word that the Mueller report doesn’t recommend any new indictments, Schiff insists that even if that were true, that doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of beginning impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

“You told the San Francisco chronicle on Friday, if there’s no bombshell, there’s no impeachment,” said ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “Does no new indictments qualify as no bombshell?” Schiff said that it wasn’t possible to answer that question yet. “Not necessarily because again, George, as you pointed out, they can’t indict the president. That’s their policy. And therefore there could be overwhelming evidence on the obstruction issue. And I don’t know if that’s the case, but if there were overwhelming evidence of criminality on the president’s part, then the Congress would need to consider that remedy if indictment is foreclosed.”

Regardless of what the final report says, Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, defended his claim that there is “significant evidence of collusion” between Trump and the Kremlin. “There’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy,” the California Democrat said.

Schiff also made clear he fully supports making the report public and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to make any briefings on Mueller’s findings unclassified. “I think what the speaker is saying, and I completely agree, is do not think you can bury this report. Do not think you can bury the evidence in secret by briefing eight people in Congress and say, we’ve discharged our responsibility. That’s not going to cut it,” Schiff said. “It is essential that the report be made completely public.”