House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday that there does not need to be a quid pro quo to impeach President Trump.
“We’re keeping our focus right now on the president’s coercion of an ally, that is Ukraine, to create this sham investigations into his political opponent,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We have discovered in very short order not only the contents of that call but also the preparatory work that went into that call. The effort to condition something the Ukrainian president deeply sought, that is, a meeting with the president, to establish this new president to the Ukraine had a powerful patron in the United States that was vital importance to Ukraine, that was being conditioned as digging up dirt on the Bidens.”
Host Margaret Brennan sought to clarify if Schiff was saying he believed that simply agreeing to meet with Ukrainian President Zelensky was the quid pro pro, and not just the military aid. Democrats have alleged the president withheld millions in U.S. aid in exchange for help from the Ukrainians investigating the Bidens.
But Schiff then argued that there doesn’t need to be any evidence of a quid pro quo for them to pursue impeachment.
“First of all, there doesn't need to be a quid pro quo,” he responded, “but it is clear already I think from the text messages that this meeting that the Ukraine president sought was being conditioned on their willingness to interfere in the U.S. election to help the President. That is a terrible abuse of the President's power. Now whether that abuse goes further that is the withholding of military aid also as leverage.”
Zelensky has said he did not even know the aid had been withheld at the time of his July phone call with Trump.