Schiff: Without witnesses, Senate trial would be 'a cover-up'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 12, 2020 - Duration: 02:01s

Schiff: Without witnesses, Senate trial would be 'a cover-up'

U.S. Democratic Representative Adam Schiff on Sunday said that if the Republican leader in the Senate succeeded in holding an impeachment trial without witnesses, "that's not a fair trial.

That's a cover-up." Zachary Goelman reports.


Schiff: Without witnesses, Senate trial would be 'a cover-up'

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: "Americans want to see a fair trial in the Senate.

They want to see trial that's fair to the president, and they want to see a trial that's fair to the American people." A top Democratic lawmaker on Sunday (June 12) stressed the need for witness testimony in an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

And Representative Adam Schiff says that means at the very least hearing from former national security adviser John Bolton, who last week said he would testify if he received a subpoena.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: "He has offered to come forward and testify.

There is no reason not to have him testify unless you just want to cover up the president's wrongdoing." When the House of Representatives voted at the end of last year to impeach Trump on charges of abusing his office and obstructing Congress, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not immediately send those articles of impeachment on to the Senate so that a trial could begin.

Instead, she announced she would hold on to them until the Republican leader of the Senate agreed that the trial would include witness testimony.

But Mitch McConnell rebuffed Democrats' demands.

Last week he said had the Republican votes needed to move ahead with a trial, regardless of Democrats' wishes.

Days later, Pelosi appeared to concede.

Schiff on Sunday said the delay was not an entire loss, as it exposed Republican senators - who are meant to serve as jurors in the trial - as White House lackeys.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE ADAM SCHIFF, SAYING: "If McConnell succeeds in making this trial a trial without witnesses, it will be the first impeachment trial in history - where the subject of the trial didn't resign mid-trial - where they didn't have witnesses.

That's not a fair trial.

That's a sham.

That's a cover-up.

And I think one of the things that holding on to the articles has succeeded in doing is flushing out McConnell and the presidents' desire to make this cover-up." Democrats accuse the president of using his office to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Trump political rival Joe Biden.

Trump has railed against the proceedings.

On Sunday he tweeted, "Why should I have the stigma of Impeachment attached to my name when I did NOTHING wrong?" Pelosi on Sunday said her chamber would likely send the articles of impeachment on to the Senate after a meeting of Democratic leadership on Tuesday.

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