The Democrat-driven impeachment inquiry was supposed to do one thing: prove that President Donald Trump is guilty of wrongdoing. But according to one commentator — one who knows a thing or two about impeachment — it’s someone else who deserves to be ousted for obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.
According to Samuel Dewey, a lawyer and former senior staffer on Capitol Hill, the only person who is guilty of the allegations lodged against Trump is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the House Intelligence Committee chairman who Republicans have long said treated the president unfairly in his panel’s impeachment hearings.
The real obstructor: Adam Schiff
Dewey made his case against Schiff in an op-ed for The Washington Times on Sunday with a fitting title: “The only guilty party during impeachment is Adam Schiff.”
“Mr. Schiff has so biased and twisted the impeachment proceedings that, in the height of irony, he stands condemned by his own mouth of the same transgressions for which he will prosecute the president,” Dewey wrote.
He went on: “It is Mr. Schiff who has obstructed Congress and abused his power — not the president.”
Schiff: “The guilty party”
According to Dewey, it was Schiff’s behavior during the impeachment hearings that sent him over the edge.
“Mr. Schiff (ironically) obstructed his own proceedings by repeatedly taking acts he knew (or should have known) were unlawful to prevent witnesses from testifying to relevant facts,” Dewey asserted. That included during the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s director of European affairs, whom Schiff blocked from answering Republicans’ questions about his own actions following President Trump’s infamous July 25 phone call with Ukraine, according to Fox News.
“Lt. Col. Vindman appeared under subpoena; the compulsion of that instrument required him to answer all relevant questions put to him, unless a claim of privilege was raised,” Dewey explained in his op-ed. “Mr. Schiff’s order was illegal on multiple grounds and contrary to previous positions taken by the House’s own lawyers.”
The lawyer went on:
House Resolution 660 clothed Mr. Schiff with unprecedented power to shape impeachment proceedings. And Mr. Schiff used that power to suppress evidence the relevance of which he does not challenge, and to control member questioning in a manner that is unprecedented. But that was not enough — Mr. Schiff went farther and abused his power.
As evidence, Dewey pointed to Schiff’s handling of a request from a Republican member of his committee to subpoena the so-called “whistleblower” as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. (In response, Schiff had called for an immediate vote to table the matter, which, according to Dewey, violated the rules agreed to in House Resolution 660.)
These facts have led Dewey to a conclusion that is spot-on: “There is ‘overwhelming’ evidence of obstruction and abuse of power that came out of the House Intelligence Committee hearings. But the guilty party is Mr. Schiff.”
The question is: will he ever be held accountable? Only time will tell.