Adam Schiff: 'Trump Has Betrayed Our National Security, and He Will Do So Again'

Schiff, in a broad final plea, seemed to zero in on moderate Republicans who might toe the party line.


Rep. Adam Schiff (D–Calif.), the lead impeachment manager, made a broad final plea in President Donald Trump's Senate trial on Monday, urging lawmakers to listen to their moral compasses and vote to convict.

"He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again," Schiff said on the Senate floor. "You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What's right matters even less, and decency matters not at all. I do not ask you to convict him because truth or right or decency matters nothing to him, but because we have proven our case and it matters to you. Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are."

While the Wednesday Senate vote will almost certainly result in an acquittal, Schiff seemed to zero in on moderate Republicans who might toe the party line, thus putting to rest Trump's assertion that his impeachment was an entirely partisan affair. 

"Every single vote, even a single vote by a single member, can change the course of history," Schiff said. "It is said that a single man or woman of courage makes a majority. Is there one among you who will say enough?" 

Trump's defense team emphasized the politically-charged nature of the moment, arguing on multiple occasions over the course of the trial that an impeachment drawn along partisan lines is an invalid one. Ken Starr, the independent counsel whose report led to former President Bill Clinton's impeachment, compared the process to "domestic war" and said that impeachments should thus be "powerfully bipartisan." (It's worth noting, however, that impeachment has always been a partisan exercise, regardless of the charges brought forth.)

The president's defense shifted slightly over the course of the trial, with the initial focus resting on Trump's purported innocence. Former national security adviser John Bolton changed the conversation when it was reported that, in his book, he says Trump directly withheld security assistance from Ukraine in order to pressure their president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, into announcing investigations targeting Trump's political rivals. The House impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress pertaining to his role in that scandal.

Trump's team later called into question the impeachable nature of that offense, particularly since the articles of impeachment, as drawn, do not contain references to an actual crime. Schiff said that notion fails to withstand historical scrutiny, as "there were no statutory crimes when the Constitution" was ratified, he said. 

"The president had to look far and wide to find a defense lawyer to make such an argument, unsupported by history, the founders, or common sense," declared Schiff. "The Republican expert witness in the House would not make it, serious constitutional scholars would not make it, even Alan Dershowitz would not make it—at least he wouldn't [have] in 1998." 

Dershowitz, the retired Harvard professor and lawyer for Trump, said in the Clinton era that an impeachable offense "certainly doesn't have to be a crime." He has since changed his stance multiple times: In his 2018 book, The Case Against Impeaching Trump, he argued that impeachment does indeed require a crime, but most recently asserted that the offense may not necessarily be a crime, but must be "crime-like." During Trump's trial, he said that any quid pro quo put forward by Trump to secure his own re-election cannot be impeachable, because Trump thought his presidency would be in the "public interest."

The defense concluded by reminding lawmakers that the election is a mere nine months away, imploring them to leave it to the voters. It is nothing more than "an effort to overturn the results of one election," said Pat Cipollone, the head White House counsel, "and to try to interfere in the coming election that begins today in Iowa."

Schiff rejected that argument, seizing on Republicans who have conceded that the House has proven its case and that Trump acted inappropriately. "History will not be kind to Donald Trump. If you find that the House has proved its case and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history," he said. "But if you find the courage to stand up to him…your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath."

NEXT: How 3 Past Presidents Dealt With Scandal During Their State of the Union Addresses

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  1. Is his seppuku gonna be televised?

    1. He fears trump is going to give Alaska to Russia for election help. He is more insane than sqrsly.

      1. ““Trump could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election, or decide to move to Mar-A-Lago permanently and leave Jared Kushner to run the country, delegating to him the decision whether they go to war.”

        Funny how Binion didn’t bother to mention the insane parts of Schiff’s frothy rant.

        1. Binion has kept us abreast of everything Schiff has been saying and its all insane frothy rants.

          Lefties will do a d say anything to get rid of Trump who has the investigative and prosecutorial power to destroy the corrupt Democrat Party forever.

        2. Were there any sane parts?

        3. wait, he really said that? Are you serious? HAHAHAHA

    2. Will Eric Ciaramella and Alexa Schiff be present?

  2. Billy really, praising Schiff the most dishonest politician there is. Still waiting for his evidence of Russian Collusion. Do you think anyone besides Schiff gives a shit about what Schiff thinks? I mean he pretty much pissed off every Republican in his opening, disjointed remarks. His closing statement sounds like the wife abuser apologizing after he has hit his wife. “Sorry baby, I know you are a decent person, just vote guilty okay because I proved my case, c’mon I won’t assault you a second time.” This is getting to be a fucking joke Billy.

    1. “Do you think anyone besides Schiff gives a shit about what Schiff thinks?”

      Get out of your bubble. Schiff is earning the highest praise from serious political commentators like Jennifer Rubin and Rachel Maddow.

      1. Good one. Kind of like SNL in the old days, there were a lot of misses but when they hit, they hit big time.

      2. One of your best

      3. Rubin…ha ha ha…neocon who only got the gig at wapo…well if her name was Rizzuto..

        Rubin honestly is not only a hypocrite but a war monger…she is your hero? Is your real name Max Boot or Kristol…ha ha

        1. he’s a parody account. I know it can be hard to tell with how crazy the Dems are sometimes

      4. I want to contribute to billboards on the borders of his Congressional district – “Here is where Schiff happens” “You are now up Schiff Creek” “This district is full of Schiff”

  3. I certainly feel less secure knowing that Drumpf interrupted the policy of fighting the Russians over there so we don’t fight them over here.


    1. Yeah I felt the same way until Trump started WW3 with Iran a few weeks ago.

      1. I wonder if Shikha is still in her bunker.

        1. She goes to the bunk when she sees a pic of an illegal alien invading our country.

  4. As humorous as it is seeing these people weep copious crocodile tears for truth and beauty and justice, the Constitution, the flag, the Republic and our Most Sacred Institutions, today hearing the one guy speaking with tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat about our brave, noble, and wise paragon of virtue, our most beloved elder statesman John McCain caused me to nearly bust a rib laughing. I remember 2008, I remember when McCain was a lying, corrupt, wrong-headed, vicious racist Nazi right-wing extremist bent on putting y’all back in chains. Give me a break.

    Or the other one citing her Catholic faith and her belief in a just and loving and forgiving God, screw you, I don’t know which version of the Bible you and Biden and Pelosi are reading, but there’s not one where Jesus rebuked his disciples saying unto them, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for I have plenty of coat hangers to go around.”

    1. Brutal. Also fucking great.

    2. It’s:
      But other than that, a good one.

  5. Billy, I see you conveniently left out the part where schiff said trump would sell Alaska to the Russians to rig the election and hed move to mar-a-Lago full time and make Kushner president…

    Why did you leave that part out?

    1. The point is…

      You’re a partisan hack with such tds you cornered yourself with no resort but to defend a complete dill whipe like Schiff. All the while having to cherry pick his statement your damned hardest just to stomach the asseninery of your writing.

      1. “asseninery”
        I’m stealing that.

  6. It is hilarious watching Democrats scream election integrity as they fought every attempt to stop cleaning up voter rolls or use voter ID. The implication is that votes only have integrity if only Democrat favored media has a voice. Not once has a Democrat complained of foreign endorsement which likely had a bigger impact than Facebook memes.

    1. The political-media class is trash, and their “integrity” talk is a sham.

    2. “It is hilarious watching Democrats scream election integrity as they fought every attempt to stop cleaning up voter rolls or use voter ID”

      Plus whatever shenanigans they’re up to in Iowa at the moment… 5 hours after results should be in

    3. And their clean, efficient election caucus in Iowa last night!!

      Haha!! Can their crookedness be any more obvious??

  7. ‘How Trump Has Betrayed Our National Security, and He Will Do So Again’ by Adam Schiff as told to Wyle E. Coyote.

    1. I’m sure Schiff shudders to think that Trump will have more flexibility after the election.

      1. Wonder of Schiff is worried about iowa having vote registration numbers at 120%ish of the voting population.

        1. Are there even any urban districts in Iowa? I’d be surprised if voter turnout was even 20% – nobody said a damn word about the ethanol program and corn subsidies and as far as I know that’s all Iowans give a shit about.

          1. I saw the numbers for the 2016 D caucus in Iowa
            Hillary narrowly won

            1. I guess that was precincts

      2. “I’m sure Schiff shudders to think that Trump will have more flexibility after the election.”
        I seem to remember that regarding some foreign leader….

  8. I was informed several days ago by House impeachment manager Jerrold Nadler that Trump is already a dictator. So why, exactly, do we have to put up with Schiff’s prating nonsense? Let the secret police drag him out and put a bullet in the back of his head already, geez.

  9. For sale:
    One golden impeachment pen
    Only used once
    Doesn’t work

  10. You forgot, “While choking back tears, ….”

  11. I knew Schiff blew a fuse when he said Trump would sell Alaska back to Russia…he needs those electoral votes.

  12. The corruption displayed on both sides in the latest sideshow is reprehensible. I’m inclined when I stand up. I mean, I’m inclined to get over lethargy and fix it.

  13. “Schiff, in a broad final plea, seemed to zero in on moderate Republicans who might toe the party line.”
    Hmm. There was a handful of Republicans that appeared willing to give the Democrats the witnesses they claimed they needed but the house managers managed to piss off enough of them that they voted no. They continue to threaten and insult any senators that might be inclined to vote for conviction. It’s almost like they actually want a straight party line vote so the media can claim that the acquittal was not legitimate.

    1. Considering the Dems and the media, but I repeat myself, are already saying this, that’s a fair conclusion.

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  15. Dershowitz… said that any quid pro quo put forward by Trump to secure his own re-election cannot be impeachable, because Trump thought his presidency would be in the “public interest.”

    This is factually false; where did Billy go to journalo school again?

    He said if the QPQ was completely legal and in the president’s authority to conduct, but there is question of motive, if the motives are mixed with part being concern for the public interest, and part being concern for staying in office, you can’t hold a desire to stay in office against a sitting president.

    That’s a hell of a lot of qualifier for *any* qpq.

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  17. Adam Schiff has attempted a coup d’état of our Democratically elected President, and he will do so again.

  18. I’m still waiting for Schiff’s evidence he promised he had showing Trump collusion with Russia. Why didn’t he give that evidence to Mueller? Why didn’t Mueller subpoena the evidence? Seems like a cover up to protect Trump.
    Schiff is a joke as was my rant. Let’s see what Schiff pulls out of his butt next.

    1. After Trump is re-elected Schiff will impeach again.

      1. Trump would relish the opportunity to be the only US President in American history to be Impeached and Acquitted twice.

        1. twice? Shiiiiiiiiit, can I get 3 times? Cause if the Democrats see the opportunity, they’ll go for it

      2. Not of the GOP takes back the House.

      3. I think it’s a losing battle for the dems to keep going after Trump. At some point they need to move on.

  19. Perfect phone call, to nothing wrong, to he did it, to not impeachable, to no witnesses anyhow.

    And all the idiots accept the continual moving of the goalposts to excuse clearly treasonous behavior. Ironically “loveconstitution” the most.

    1. Guilt doesn’t matter when the senate votes for removal, so says the senate dems from 1998/1999.

  20. Binion seems to believe that Schiff and the Dems are acting in good faith regarding their efforts to impeach Trump. Isn’t that precious.

    1. Binion isn’t acting in good faith either. Not only is he getting Reason bucks for this garbage, but a Media Matters bursary as well as polishing his NYT resume.

  21. Man, I read this article and grieved the decline of Reason’s “reason”. But, as always, thank God for the Reason comments section.

  22. “Truth matters little to him.”
    I just spit my coffee across the room.

  23. How do we know this is not Schiff doing more parody?

  24. Another sad ignorant Reason article which quotes a snippet of what Alan Dershowitz said and purposefully leaving out context . Good job CNN, oh I mean Reason…

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