Video of House manager Rep. Adam Schiff’s closing arguments during the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Thursday evening swept across social media as it became a trending topic, shared thousands of times due to its resounding message.
It’s possible that someday historians will call his remarks the “right matters speech,” because the overall theme of Schiff’s words was that concept — that truth and doing the right thing depended on what Senators do in the impeachment trial.
The case had already been made about Trump’s guilt, Schiff argued in his statement. “Is there really any doubt about about this? Do we really have any doubt of the facts here?” he said.
At issue was the fact that Trump ignored his own intelligence agencies in favor of Rudy Giuliani and the conspiracy theories he was peddling, Schiff argued. The information he was supplied was to his liking, because it was “something that would help him personally,” he added.
Because of his eagerness to disbelieve intelligence reports, propagate a debunked conspiracy theory, and use that theory (as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid) to coerce a foreign nation to investigate a domestic political rival, the Senate had no choice but to convict and remove Trump from the White House, the House manager explained — because it was the right thing to do.
Donald Trump must be convicted and removed from office.
Because he will always choose his own personal interest over our national interest.
Because in America, right matters. Truth matters.
If not, no Constitution can protect us.
If not, we are lost. pic.twitter.com/USfx6v9KsT
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 24, 2020
“We’re lost” if “right doesn’t matter,” Schiff said in the emotional half of his speech.
“If right doesn’t matter — if right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the Framers were. Doesn’t matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is. Doesn’t matter how well written the oath of impartiality is. If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost.”
Trump can’t be trusted to “do what’s right for the country,” only to do “what’s right for himself,” Schiff added. It was up to the Senate to do the right thing instead.
“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed,” Schiff concluded his remarks. “Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise, we are lost.”