House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was booed on the House floor by Republicans as he accused President Donald Trump of bribery this week, The Hill reported. But it didn’t slow him down.
During the lead-up to Wednesday’s impeachment vote, Schiff continued to make his case for removing President Donald Trump.
Schiff’s argument of a presidential crime
“My colleagues continue to make the argument that the Ukrainians got the money,” Schiff said. “Yes, the president got caught, but they got the money. No harm, no foul. It is the equivalent of saying if you’re pulled over by a cop and you attempt to bribe the cop and the cop doesn’t take the money but arrests you, where’s the crime in that?”
Republicans booed in Response.
“They didn’t get the money,” Schiff continued. “This is what my colleagues would have you accept — that because the president got caught in the act, we must look the other way.”
He went on: “But of course, that’s not the way the law works. That is not the way the Constitution works. That’s not the way the oath of office works. Our oath of office requires us to impeach a president that abuses his power whether he gets away with it or he gets caught.”
Schiff complained that none of his GOP colleagues “want to address any of the facts of the president’s misconduct.” “There are no facts,” a number of Republican lawmakers shouted back.
“Apparently, Madame Speaker, I have struck a nerve,” Schiff concluded.
Dershowitz: No crimes alleged
But despite Schiff’s assertions, neither bribery nor attempted bribery — nor any other crime — actually appears in either of the articles of impeachment.
Instead, the president was alleged to have committed “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” Neither act is a criminal offense, and according to liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz, they don’t “satisfy the express constitutional criteria for an impeachment.”
“Both are so vague and open-ended that they could be applied in partisan fashion by a majority of the House against almost any president from the opposing party,” he wrote in an opinion piece for The Hill. “Both are precisely what the Framers had rejected at their Constitutional Convention.”
“If,” Dershowitz added, “the House votes to impeach President Trump on grounds not authorized by the Constitution, its action, in the words of [framer Alexander] Hamilton, is void.”