Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) declared on Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press” that if Republican senators do not vote for witnesses, President Donald Trump would not be exonerated.
When asked about the president’s defense team, Schiff said, “I think they’re definitely afraid of what witnesses have to say and so their whole strategy has been to deprive the public of a fair trial. They don’t frame it that way, but that’s, in essence, they have a very heavy burden with that because the American people understand what a fair trial is. A fair trial requires witnesses. A fair trial does not consist of the person who is charged agreeing with the judges to deprive the prosecution from being able to make a case.”
He continued, “So it’s hard to argue we don’t want to hear the evidence, particularly when they say we should hear from more direct witnesses to talk to the president but we’re not going to allow them to be called. What was so striking to me really about their case is they basically acknowledged the scheme. They don’t contest the scheme. They don’t say, no, he didn’t try to get foreign help in the election. They didn’t say there was no evidence he was conditioning the aid. They just tried to make the case that you don’t need a fair trial here. You can make this go away.”
He added, “If they’re successful in depriving the country with a fair trial, there is no exoneration. There is no exoneration. Americans will recognize that the country did not get what the founders intended because they put the word try in the Constitution for a reason.”
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