House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Sunday dismissed suggestions that he appear as a witness in any Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, saying the suggestion is frivolous.
Schiff, California Democrat, is heading up the House impeachment inquiry and has been mentioned as a “fact witness” by Republicans anxious to depose him regarding what he allegedly knew about the Ukraine whistleblower before he came forth with a complaint that the president abused his power in dealing with that government.
The issue of Schiff testifying is relevant, however, because it appears inevitable that House Democrats will return at least three and perhaps as many as four articles of impeachment against the president.
“If the Senate wants to call me as a witness, then they pretty much made the decision not to take this process seriously,” Schiff said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “All I can relate is what the witnesses said in deposition and in the open hearings, and that’s no reason to call me as a witness.”
Schiff has said that the evidence against Trump is “overwhelming” that he abused his office by trying to force the Ukrainian government to investigate 2016 U.S. election meddling as well as 2020 rival and former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden.
However, Schiff also said frequently in the past there was “overwhelming evidence” that President Trump colluded with Russia in 2016 to win office, but special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of that.
On Sunday, though Democrats have not formally returned articles of impeachment, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said the White House was “preparing for both eventualities.”
She argued that 31 Democrats from districts President Trump won in 2016 are under tremendous pressure from House Democratic leaders to support impeachment. She also argued that Democrats are focused more on impeaching the president than they are on issues that matter to Americans such as lowering drug prices, infrastructure funding, and approving the USMCA trade deal.
House Democrats have not scheduled any additional impeachment hearings.