The Slatest

Schiff Says Ukraine Call Could Justify Impeachment: “We May Have Crossed the Rubicon”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff deliver a press conference following the former Special Counsel's testimony before the House Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington, D.C. on July 24, 2019.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff deliver a press conference following the former Special Counsel’s testimony before the House Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington, D.C. on July 24, 2019.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff suggested he was getting closer to agreeing that President Donald Trump should be impeached, noting that it may be “the only remedy” if it is true that he pressured Ukraine’s leader to investigate former vice president Joe Biden. Schiff has been reluctant to support impeachment, but he said Sunday the latest developments could change his mind. “If the President is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit that is providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that conduct represents,” Schiff said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Schiff said that the reports on the call could finally lead Democrats to unite against impeachment. “This would be the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office, certainly during this presidency, which says a lot, but perhaps during any presidency. There is no privilege that covers corruption,” Schiff said. “There is no privilege to engage in underhanded discussions.” The California Democrat said the president “may force us to go down this road” of impeachment. “I have spoken with a number of my colleagues over the last week and this seems different in kind,” he said. “And we may very well have crossed the Rubicon here.”

Schiff was hardly alone in suggesting that the controversy regarding Trump’s call with the Ukrainian leader could push Democrats toward impeachment. In a letter to lawmakers Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also hinted impeachment could be the natural result if the White House refuses to release the whistleblower report that reportedly involves the president’s July phone call. “If the Administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the President, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation,” Pelosi wrote.