Schiff not planning any more hearings…yet


We may have to wait a bit for another edition of Ukraine Theatre on Capitol Hill.

California Congressman Adam Schiff told CNN’s State of the Union this morning he saw no reason to call in more witnesses to publicly testify before the House Intelligence Committee on any possible quid quo pro involving President Donald Trump and Ukraine. His reason? There’s plenty of evidence and he’s not interested in playing a game of stall tactics with the White House.

“What we’re not prepared to do is wait months and months while the administration plays a game of rope-a-dope in an effort to try to stall. We’re not willing to go down that road,” Schiff declared while promising the committee was getting evidence regularly. “And what’s more, the evidence is already overwhelming. The remarkable thing about this — and we have done this with almost — well, literally no documentary production from the administration — is, the facts are really not contested. It’s really not contested what the president did.”

Schiff did dodge a question from Jake Tapper on whether he believed Trump should be impeached instead saying he’d leave it up to “my constituents, and I want to hear more from my colleagues.” Schiff does believe the President conducted serious misconduct. This is the politician’s way of playing both sides of an issue: express concern about the behavior of Trump while also noting he wanted to make sure everything is tied up with a nice bow before taking a stance. It seems the only politician with any sort of semblance of a backbone is Independent Michigan Congressman Justin Amash.

It is interesting Schiff stated the House won’t play “rope-a-dope” with the White House because he’s already dealing with questions on the length of the inquiry. He was pressed by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press why there wasn’t a plan for more public hearings.


I want to put — I mean, you have all these open leads. It just seems odd that you’re stopping.


Well, we’re not —


I mean, look at all these open leads.


Yes, Chuck, it’s —


You have Bolton, you have the energy deal, the —


It’s important to know we’re not stopping, but it’s also important to know this, Chuck, and you’ve acknowledged this, and I find this remarkable, the evidence is already overwhelming, right? The evidence is already overwhelming. The questions is not —


But you’re not in a courtroom. You know that.


Well —


You have a political bar you have to meet.

Schiff ended up admitting to the “political bar” but turned towards Republicans by rhetorically asking why they weren’t more gung-ho to get rid of Trump. The failure to give a more complete answer could lend credence to the theory Allahpundit analyzed earlier today that Democrats are cooling a bit on impeachment. It’s still likely there are enough votes in Congress to impeach the president however it might be closer than the overwhelming majority the pundits on social media want to believe.

Another question Schiff seemed hesitant to answer was whether former National Security Adviser John Bolton would end up testifying before Congress.

“We have certainly been in touch with his lawyer,” Schiff claimed while intimating Bolton wanted some sort of book deal to tell his side of the story. “And what we have been informed by his lawyer — because we invited him to come in, and he did not choose to come in and testify, notwithstanding the fact that his deputy Fiona Hill and his other deputy, Colonel Vindman, and Tim Morrison and others in the National Security Council have shown the courage to come in — is, if we subpoena him, they will sue us in court.”

Bolton could always end up before the Senate in Trump’s trial but the country is nowhere near that just yet. What Bolton could reveal would be interesting but Schiff has already opined there’s enough evidence against Trump on Ukraine. It appears unlikely Bolton will ever show up before Schiff to talk about what he may or may not know despite his teasing on Twitter. One hypothesis is Bolton won’t talk because he isn’t interested in seeing the power of the presidency wane. Not testifying could also put Bolton in a position to gain a role in whatever Republican administration comes after Trump whether it be in 2024 or later.

It’s still curious Democrats are not planning more public hearings on Ukraine and possible Trump impeachment. Schiff and Pelosi may believe it best to keep the specter of impeachment in the background so Democrats running for president in 2020 can talk about the issues. That does carry a risk, especially if it turns into another Benghazi or Iraq War investigation where nothing ended up happening but long-winded political committee reports.

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