Adam Schiff: Enough Evidence to Indict Donald Trump
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Tuesday that there is already sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal indictment of President Donald Trump.
Schiff based his opinion on revelations from Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who accused Trump, “Individual-1,” of directing him to violate campaign finance laws in the weeks before the 2016 election. Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts last year and will begin a three-year prison term in May.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, although his story continues to evolve.
“It’s very difficult to make the argument that the person who was directed and was coordinated should go to jail but the person who did the directing and did the coordinating should not,” Schiff said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.
Current Justice Department orthodoxy is that a sitting president cannot be indicted, but Schiff believes this needs to be reevaluated. It should be noted that there is no official rule or constitutional provision against this, only a loosely-interpreted memo of narrow scope dating back to Watergate.
“The Justice Department policy against indictment is the wrong policy,” Schiff said, “particularly when there is any risk that the statute of limitations may allow a president to escape justice.”
Schiff also weighed in on the prospect of impeachment.
“I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience as I’ve often remarked in the past,” Schiff said, echoing the sentiments of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “The only thing worse than putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment is putting the country through the trauma of a failed impeachment.”
Neither Democrat has totally shut the door on impeachment, however, if proof of high crimes and misdemeanors becomes so overwhelming that Republicans are compelled to join Democrats in removing Trump from power.