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Schiff Makes Clear All Trump Efforts to Obstruct House Inquiry Will Be Added to Articles of Impeachment

Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff just provided a preemptive autopsy of Trump's presidency.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

On Wednesday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, conducted a preemptive autopsy on the presidency* of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago. They held a press conference that laid open the prospective cadaver like a Thanksgiving turkey. In response, and perfectly in character, the president* went up the wall.

The Do Nothing Democrats should be focused on building up our Country, not wasting everyone’s time and energy on BULLSHIT, which is what they have been doing ever since I got overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306. Get a better candidate this time, you’ll need it!

And:

Adam Schiff should only be so lucky to have the brains, honor and strength of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. For a lowlife like Schiff, who completely fabricated my words and read them to Congress as though they were said by me, to demean a First in Class at West Point, is SAD!

Which demonstrates a consciousness of guilt, but no consciousness of human thought.

Anyway, back to the sane people. Pelosi and Schiff made clear that any attempts by the administration* to gum up or otherwise stonewall the impeachment inquiry will do nothing except add more counts to the eventual indictment contained in whatever Articles of Impeachment emerge.

Schiff said:

We are deeply concerned about Secretary Pompeo's effort to potentially interfere with witnesses whose testimony is needed before a committee. Many of whom are mentioned in the complaint. And, we want to make it clear that any efforts by the secretary, president, or anyone else to interfere with the Congress's ability to call before relative witnesses will be considered as evidence of obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress. It will allow an adverse inference to be drawn as to the underlying facts, that that -- that if they are going to prevent witnesses to testify on the allegations and complaint, that will create an inference that those allegations are correct.

Having dealt some chin music to Secretary Pompeo, which apparently touched off the presidential* tantrum, Schiff moved on to Rudy Giuliani.

On Monday, I issued a subpoena to Rudy Giuliani in consultation with Chairman Cummings and Engel. We expect Mr. Giuliani to comply with legal process we are using. He is obviously a key figure by his own it mission as well as by the allegations in the complaint.

And, in conclusion:

To say that we are concerned that the White House will attempt to stonewall our investigation much as they have stonewalled other committees, it is why I say the White House needs to understand that any action like that that forces us to litigate or have to consider litigation will be considered further evidence of obstruction of justice. That was an article of impeachment against Nixon, the obstruction of lawful functions of Congress.
We will also draw the inference that, as appropriate, they are trying to conceal facts that would corroborate the allegations. We will have to decide whether to litigate, or how to litigate. We are not fooling around. We do not want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the strategy. They just need to know that even as they try to undermine our ability to find the facts around the president's effort to course a foreign -- coerce a foreign leader to use test to find dirt against a political opponent, that they will be strengthening the case on obstruction if they behave that way.

This is the way it worked with Richard Nixon. The third article of impeachment voted out of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974 was a grab-bag of constitutional sins, venal and mortal, connected to Nixon's attempts to obstruct the congressional investigation into his conduct. But just as signifying to our current moment is subparagraph 8 of Article I. That Article deals explicitly with the cover-up of the Watergate break-in, and of the rest of what John Mitchell called, "The White House Horrors." The heading of the detailed section of the Article reads:

The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following:

And Subparagraph 8 reads:

8: making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States and personnel of the Committee for the Re-election of the President, and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct.

In our current context, that means every Tweet, every driveway tantrum, every truckload of lies dumped at his beloved rallies can be used to prove the truth of the fact that this administration* has worked at all times to cover up how deeply corrupt it is. Every damn one of them. Even the madhouse press availability he held with the president of Finland later on Wednesday became evidence for the prosecution. To wit:

He should be forced to resign from Congress. Adam Schiff, he's a lowlife. He took a perfect conversation, realized he couldn't read it to Congress because it was perfect -- it was a very nice conversation...We had stenographers on the phone, taking it down word-for-word. He took that and...he made up a conversation and he reported it and he said it to Congress and to the American people. And it was horrible what he said. And that was supposed to be coming from me. But it was all fabricated. He should resign from Congress in disgrace and they should be looking at him for treason.

Your Honor, Prosecution Exhibit Quadruple Q for identification.

Lying to the country to cover your criminal ass is an impeachable offense, no matter how many suckers believe your lies to be true. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff on Wednesday explained to the president* this undeniable truth. He yelled, "BULLSHIT!" in return. Another piece of evidence for their case.

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce

Charles P. Pierce is a writer-at-large for Esquire and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the LA Times Magazine, the Nation, the Atlantic, Sports Illustrated and The Chicago Tribune, among others.

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