Adam Schiff accused the president of threatening him Sunday after Donald Trump tweeted the Intelligence chairman ‘has not paid the price, yet’ for leading impeachment efforts against him.
‘This is a wrathful and vindictive president, I don’t think there’s any doubt about it. And if you think there is, look at the president’s tweets about me today, saying that I should pay a price,’ Schiff lamented to NBC anchor Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday morning.
‘Do you take that as a threat?’ Todd questioned the California Democrat.
‘I think it’s intended to be,’ said Schiff, who is the lead impeachment manager prosecuting the president in the Senate trial.
Trump claimed in a Sunday morning tweet that Schiff is a ‘sick man’ as he continued to attack the impeachment proceedings as a partisan ‘hoax.’
‘Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!’ Trump tweeted regarding Schiff.
Donald Trump slammed Rep. Adam Schiff Sunday, claiming the prosecution’s lead impeachment manager is a ‘very sick man’
Schiff said in an interview with NBC shortly after the tweet was sent that the president ‘intended’ to threaten him with the post
‘This is a wrathful and vindictive president, I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,’ Schiff told NBC anchor Chuck Todd in his interview Sunday
Trump slammed the interview, claiming it was a ‘softball’ and he called Schiff a ‘conman’
Trump also claimed shortly after the appearance aired Sunday morning that ‘conman’ Schiff’s interview with Todd was a ‘softball.’
‘Sleepyeyes Chuck Todd of Meet the Corrupt Press, just had a ‘totally’ softball interview with conman Adam Schiff, never even calling Shifty out on his fraudulent statement to Congress, where he made up ALL of the words of my conversation with the Ukrainian President! FAKE NEWS’ Trump tweeted, slamming the host of one of his most hated media outlets.
Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, led the impeachment inquiry in the House and is now heading the team of representatives prosecuting the president in the Senate trial.
The Intelligence Committee chairman led the impeachment inquiry in the House and is now heading the team of representatives prosecuting the president in the Senate trial.
During the third day of his opening arguments on the Senate floor Friday, Schiff said there were members of the GOP who were scared to vote for impeaching Trump because their head would be put on a ‘pike.’
‘CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that key senators were warned, ‘Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’ I don’t know if that’s true,’ Schiff said during the closing remarks.
He addressed this comment during his interview with NBC Sunday morning.
‘It is going to be very difficult for some of these senators to stand up to this president. It really is, there’s just no question about it,’ he said.
‘I want to acknowledge that, and I don’t want to acknowledge it in a way that is offensive to them, but I do want to speak candidly about it,’ Schiff continued. ‘And if this weren’t an issue, there wouldn’t be an issue about calling witnesses. If we can’t even get the senators to agree to call witnesses in a trial, it shows you just how difficult that moral courage is.’
After Schiff made the comments, many moderate lawmakers, particularly Republicans who could potentially sway the vote in favor of the prosecution, said the lawmaker got too personal.
‘I don’t think it was personal to refer to the CBS story,’ Schiff told Todd. ‘What may be personal, though – and I think I have to be very candid about this – is, I made the argument that it’s going to require moral courage to stand up to this president.’
The California representative has become the focus of the president’s ire against the Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office – which Trump said is just an attempt to stop him from winning reelection in November.
‘The Impeachment Hoax is a massive election interference the likes of which has never been seen before,’ Trump asserted in another tweet Sunday morning. ‘In just two hours the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats have seen their phony case absolutely shredded. Shifty is now exposed for illegally making up my phone call, & more!’
He also made reference to the House’s impeachment inquiry where the Intelligence chairman claimed he was doing a ‘parody’ of Trump’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart when he mischaracterized the president’s words
Trump’s legal team made Schiff a main focus of their defense, taking several hits at the California Democrat while presenting opening arguments Friday and Saturday
Trump was referencing the time during the House’s investigation when during a hearing Schiff mischaracterized the president’s July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, the event central to the impeachment effort.
Schiff said when he was paraphrasing Trump’s conversation, he meant to be doing a ‘parody’ of the call rather than exact quotes.
During Trump’s defense’s presentation, the team repeatedly attacked Schiff and his credibility, specifically calling out the ‘parody’ call.
‘That’s fake. That’s not the real call. That’s not the evidence here,’ deputy White House counsel Mike Purpura said of Schiff’s past remarks.
But Schiff has continued to defend himself against attacks against his credibility.
‘They don’t contest the basic architecture of this scheme,’ Schiff told reporters Saturday. ‘They do not contest that the president solicited a foreign nation to interfere in our election, to help him cheat.’
Trump has also demanded Schiff be called in the Senate trial as a fact witness, even though it is still not clear if there will be additional witness testimony permitted in the proceedings.
The impeachment trial in the Senate commenced Tuesday when the defense and prosecution debated the rules set forth by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, including Democrats demanding new witnesses and documents be subpoenaed.
The following three days, the seven Democrat impeachment manages – Schiff and Representatives Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Zoe Lofgren, Val Demings, Sylvia Garcia and Jason Crow – presented their case for why Trump should be removed.
Lofgren, a California Democrat who worked in Congress is some capacity for the Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and now Trump impeachment proceedings, chastised Trump’s behavior.
‘The President has a tendency to say things that seem threatening to people,’ she told CNN Sunday morning in reference to the president’s criticism of Schiff.
‘He really ought to get a grip and be a little more presidential,’ she continued.
She also didn’t come to the lead impeachment manager’s defense with CNN’s Jake Tapper asked if it was a mistake for Schiff to quote a report on the Senate floor that claimed Republicans won’t impeach the president because they are ‘scared’ if they vote against him their ‘head will be on a pike.’
‘Well, I don’t know,’ Lofgren admitted.
‘But hopefully the senators are not going to be letting a – quoting a CBS report, which Adam himself said didn’t know if that was accurate, in making a decision for the country and whether the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,’ she said of moderate Democrats and Republicans who said Schiff’s comments worried them.
The two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – were delivered to the upper chamber earlier this month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally signed them after holding up the proceedings going forward for a month.
While making closing remarks from his opening arguments Friday, Schiff said members of the GOP are scared to vote for impeachment because their ‘head will be on a pike.’ He was referencing a CBS report that he admitted he did not know if it was true
Impeachment manager Zoe Lofgren said Sunday morning in an interview with CNN that she wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for her colleague to make that statement on the Senate floor
Impeachment managers left to right: Sylvia Garcia, Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Adam Schiff, Val Demings, Zoe Lofgren, Jason Crow
On Saturday, Trump’s defense team began presenting their case.
Part of that defense included arguing that the articles are not actually impeachable offenses.
Alan Dershowitz, one of Trump’s defense attorneys who presented opening arguments, reiterated this Sunday, claiming that a lot of what Democrats are saying about impeachment is a charade to get reelected or elected to a higher office.
‘I think we’re not talking here about political damage, that’s exactly what voters ought to be deciding on. That’s why the election ought to go forward,’ Dershowitz said in an interview with Fox News Sunday, making the repeated case that voters should decide if Trump stays in office four more years.
‘Much of what was presented by the democrats were not impeachable offenses,’ Dershowitz continued. ‘They were campaign ads.’
Sunday is the first day the two teams have off from the Senate trial since it began Tuesday, and it appears Congress will remain in session Monday-Saturday throughout the duration of the proceedings.
This could take four Democratic senators off the campaign trial: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and lesser-known Mike Bennet.
The defense team will have two more days to present their case against removing Trump from office.
THE IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS: MEET THE SEVEN DEMOCRATS PROSECUTING DONALD TRUMP
Adam Schiff of California: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, 59, led the impeachment process against Donald Trump. He became a frequent target of Trump’s fury: the president called him ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff and made fun of his neck. But Schiff won praise for his leadership during witnesses hearings. Schiff served in the California State Assembly and was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for six years. He oversaw the prosecution of Richard Miller, the first FBI agent ever to be indicted for espionage. Elected to Congress in 2012.
Jerry Nadler of New York: The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, 72, led the series of hearings that developed the two articles of impeachment against the president: abuse of power and obstruction of justice. He’s in his 15th term in Congress and was a New York State Assembly man before joining Capitol Hill. He was in law school when he was first elected to state office and completed his J.D. while serving in Albany. He and Schiff were expected to be named. Elected to Congress in 1992.
Zoe Lofgren of California: A close Nancy Pelosi ally and a long time friend of the speaker, Lofgren, 72, has the unique experience of playing a role in three presidential impeachment proceedings: as a Judiciary Committee staffer during Richard Nixon’s in 1974, as a Judiciary Committee Member during Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment, and now in President Trump’s. Additionally, she heads the Committee on House Administration, a position that has the moniker ‘Mayor of Capitol Hill’ given the panel’s jurisdiction over the everyday running of the Capitol, including members’ allowance, office space, and rules of the House. Elected to Congress in 1994.
Hakeem Jeffries of New York: Jeffries, 49, was a litigator in private practice before running for elected office. He worked in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before becoming assistant litigator for Viacom and CBS, where he worked on litigation stemming from the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, when Janet Jackson’s breast, adorned with a nipple shield, was exposed by Justin Timberlake for about half a second, in what was later referred to as a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. The Federal Election Commission fined CBS $550,000 after a long legal case. The Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Jeffries serves on the House Judiciary Committee. Before Congress, he was in the New York State Assembly for six years. Elected to Congress in 2012 and a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Val Demings of Florida: Demings, 62, served in the Orlando Police Department for 27 years, including serving as the city’s first female chief of police. She is one of seven children born in poverty – her father worked in Florida orange groves and her mother was a housekeeper. She was the first member of her family graduate from college. She worked as a social worker before joining the Orlando police department. A member of the House Intelligence panel and the Judiciary Committee, Demings won plaudits for her careful questioning of witnesses during the impeachment hearings. She wrote on Twitter in December, during the impeachment process: ‘I am a descendant of slaves, who knew that they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day I would make it. So despite America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. I’ve enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law.’ She spends her free time riding her Harley-Davidson Road King Classic motorcycle. Elected to Congress in 2016.
Jason Crow of Colorado: Crow, 40, was an Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he served three tours and was awarded a Bronze Star. He was a private litigator with the Holland and Hart Law Firm before running for Congress. He was elected to Congress in 2018 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee.
Sylvia Garcia of Texas: Garcia, 69, has a strong judicial background. She was the director and presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System and was elected city controller. She was also the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the Harris County Commissioner’s Court. Elected to Congress in 2018, she serves on the House Judiciary Committee.
THE TRUMP DREAM TEAM: WHO’S DEFENDING PRESIDENT IN SENATE
Lead counsel: Pat Cipollone, White House Counsel
Millionaire conservative Catholic father-of-10 who has little courtroom experience. ‘Strong, silent,’ type who has earned praise from Trump’s camp for resisting Congress’ investigations of the Ukraine scandal. Critics accused him of failing in his duty as a lawyer by writing ‘nonsense letters’ to reject Congressional oversight. His background is commercial litigation and as White House counsel is the leader of the Trump administration’s drive to put conservative judges in federal courts. Trump has already asked aides behind the scenes if he will perform well on television.
Jay Sekulow, president’s personal attorney
Millionaire one-time IRS prosecutor with his own talk radio show. Self-described Messianic Jew who was counsel to Jews for Jesus. Longtime legal adviser to Trump, but he is himself mentioned in the Ukraine affair, with Lev Parnas saying that he knew about Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to dig dirt on the Bidens but did not approve. Michael Cohen claimed that Sekulow and other members of Trump’s legal team put falsehoods in his statement to the House intel committee; Sekulow denies it. The New York Times reported that he voted for Hillary Clinton.
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor
Shot to worldwide fame for his part in the ‘dream team’s’ successful defense of OJ Simpson but was already famous for his defense of Claus von Bulow, the British socialite accused of murdering his wife in Rhode Island. Ron Silver played Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune. In 2008 he was a member of Jeffrey Epstein’s legal team which secured the lenient plea deal from federal prosecutors. But Dershowitz was a longtime friend of Epstein and was accused of having sex with two of Esptein’s victims. He denies it and is suing one of them, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, for libel, saying his sex life is ‘perfect.’ He admits he received a massage at Epstein’s home – but ‘kept my underwear on.’ Registered Democrat who spoke out against Trump’s election and again after the Charlottesville violence. Has become an outspoken defender of Trump against the Robert Mueller probe and the Ukraine investigation.
Ken Starr, former Whitewater independent counsel
Famous and reviled in equal measure for his Whitewater investigation into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s finances in Arkansas which eventually led him to evidence of Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. He was a federal appeals judge and George H.W. Bush’s solicitor general before that role. He later became president and chancellor of Baylor University in Waco but was removed as president in May 2016 for mishandling the investigation into allegations of multiple sexual assaults by football players and other students, then quit voluntarily as chancellor. Is the second Jeffrey Epstein defender on the team; he was present in 2008 when the plea deal with prosecutor Alex Acosta was made which let Epstein off with just 13 months of work release prison.
Pam Bondi, White House attorney
Florida’s first female attorney general and also a long-time TV attorney who has been a Fox News guest host – including co-hosting The Five for three days in a row while still attorney general. Began her career as a prosecutor before moving into elected politics. Has been hit by a series of controversies, among them persuading then Florida governor Rick Scott to change the date of an execution because it clashed with her re-election launch, and has come under fire for her association with Scientology. She has defended it saying the group were helping her efforts against human trafficking; at the time the FBI was investigating it over human trafficking. Went all-in on Trump in 2016, leading ‘lock her up’ chants at the 2016 Republican National Convention. Joined the White House last November to aid the anti-impeachment effort.
Robert Ray, Ken Starr’s successor
Headed the Office of the Independent Counsel from 1999 until it closed for business in 2002, meaning it was he, not Ken Starr, who wrote the final words on the scandals of the Clinton years. Those included the report on Monica Lewinsky, the report on the savings and loan misconduct claims which came to be known as Whitewater, and the report on Travelgate, the White House travel office’s firing and file-gate, claims of improper access to the FBI’s background reports. Struck deal with Clinton to give up his law license. Went into private practice. Was charged with stalking a former lover in New York in 2006 four months after she ended their relationship. Now a frequent presence on Fox News.
Jane Raskin, private attorney
Part of a husband-and-wife Florida law team, she is a former prosecutor who specializes in defending in white collar crime cases. Their connection to Trump appears to have been through Ty Cobb, the former White House attorney. She and husband Martin advised Trump on his response to Mueller and appear to have been focused on avoiding an obstruction of justice accusation. That may be the reason to bring her in to the impeachment team; Democrats raised the specter of reviving Mueller’s report in their evidence to the impeachment trial.
Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura, Deputy White House Counsels
Lowest-profile of the team, they work full-time for Cipollone in the White House. Philbin (left) was a George W. Bush appointee at the Department of Justice who helped come up with the system of trying Guantanamo Bay detainees in front of military commissions instead of in U.S. courts. He was one a group of officials, led by James Comey, who rushed to seriously-ill John Ashcroft’s bedside to stop the renewal of the warrant-less wiretap program. Unknown if Trump is aware of his links to Comey. Purpura (right) is also a Bush White House veteran who shaped its response to Congressional investigations at a time when there were calls for him to be impeached over going to war in Iraq. His name is on letters telling State Department employees not to testify. Has been named as a possible Trump nominee for federal court in Hawaii.