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Tipsheet

Here's Why Schiff Believes Withholding Articles of Impeachment Is a Win for Dems

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Democrats are quick to say President Donald Trump is impeached. Even though the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is holding onto the articles of impeachment. Trump isn't officially impeached until those articles are sent to the Senate for the trial. 

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Pelosi has repeatedly said she plans to withhold the articles of impeachment until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can guarantee a so-called "fair" trial. And by "fair" the Democrats mean allowing additional witnesses to come forward and testify. McConnell has repeatedly said he will not meet her demands and he's in no rush to hold the trial.

Despite that, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), the man who is leading the impeachment push believes Pelosi's strategy has been successful.

"How long are Democrats – Democratic leaders – prepared to hold onto the articles? Might this go until February or could this be indefinite?" CNN's Jake Tapper asked Schiff.

"I don't think it's going to be indefinite, no. I don't think that's the desire or motivation here," Schiff replied. "The desire is to get the Senate to have a fair trial. Fair to the president, yes, but fair to the American people."

Tapper reminded Schiff of one important tidbit: McConnell isn't going to bend to the House's demands.

"One success that this has already had has been flushing out McConnell, showing that he is working in cahoots with the president, that he has made himself an active participant in the president's coverup so the American people needed to see that and now they do," Schiff explained. 

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Even though the House is unlikely to get what they want, Schiff argued that members of Congress have had to go on record to say whether or not they want to hear from additional witnesses and see documents, something he considers a win.

“I think withholding the articles has thus far flushed out where Mitch McConnell’s coming from. It's required senators to go on record," he said. "It’s my hope that that pressure will result in a real trial fair to the American people as well as fair to the president.”

Ironically, Schiff said senators should approach the impeachment trial with an open mind.

"No senators should be expressing opinions here. What we should want is a fair trial and what we should want of senators is that they take their oath seriously and that oath requires them to be impartial," he said.

This is rich coming from the guy who has repeatedly talked about how President Donald Trump needs to be impeached. He pushed the Russia collusion theory. When Special Counsel Robert Mueller put a dagger in that hope he clung to Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. And yet he wants others to be impartial?

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Despite all that, the House is considering impeaching President Trump on a third article: obstruction of justice relating to the Mueller investigation. 

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