House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff offered an interesting interpretation of the newly released transcript of President Trump's call with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky in July. The unredacted document ruins the narrative that Trump threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine if they don't investigate his 2020 opponent Joe Biden.
No problem for Schiff, though. He took a few parts of the phone call out of context for his Twitter audience to suggest that Trump is a mob boss.
The transcript of the call reads like a classic mob shakedown:— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 25, 2019
– We do a lot for Ukraine
– There’s not much reciprocity
– I have a favor to ask
– Investigate my opponent
– My people will be in touch
Nice country you got there.
It would be a shame if something happened to her.
Schiff added in a press conference on Capitol Hill that even if there was no explicit quid pro quo, Trump is still guilty.
House Intel Chairman Schiff on Trump-Ukraine call memo: “The notes of the call reflect a conversation far more damning than I or many others had imagined.” https://t.co/GvBzbbeYIi pic.twitter.com/kZ4mnL0du3— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 25, 2019
Schiff then really turned on the spin. While Trump may not have directly threatened the hold off on military aid for Ukraine, he did bring up Biden at a suspicious time.
Zelensky had just mentioned military support and "immediately thereafter," Schiff notes, "Trump said, 'I have a favor I want to ask of you' and would not let the subject go."
“There is no quid pro quo necessary to betray your country or your oath of office," Schiff suggested. "Even though many read this as a quid pro quo. I’m not concerned whether it is a quid pro quo or not. Ukraine understood what this president wanted.”
Before the call transcript was even released, Democrats used it to announce a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. As of this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still hadn't read it.
Per the request of Schiff and several others, the DOJ will also release the full whistleblower complaint. Schiff has already made up his mind about that document too.