Adam Schiff blasts Trump for ‘obstruction,’ but refuses to take reporters’ questions

October 9, 2019

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) refused to take questions from reporters moments after he blasted President Donald Trump for “obstruction” in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Schiff gave a brief statement Tuesday denouncing Trump for ordering his ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, not to testify before Congress. Then, Breitbart reports, the California Democrat simply walked away, ignoring reporters who shouted questions.

Schiff walks away from reporters

Sondland is one of several State Department officials named in the “whistleblower” complaint that accuses President Trump of asking Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. The diplomat had already flown from Europe to Washington, D.C. when he was alerted by the State Department Tuesday not to testify before the House Oversight, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs committees, MSN reports.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republicans’ rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see,” President Trump tweeted Tuesday.

Addressing Sondland’s no-show, Schiff told reporters that the White House’s decision was tantamount to obstruction of the Democrats’ inquiry, adding that the State Department was withholding relevant text messages of Sondland’s. Schiff further claimed that Sondland was a “key player” in efforts by Trump to have Ukraine investigate a “bogus conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, as well as Joe Biden and his son,” according to Axios.

“The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these [impeachment inquiry-related] documents, we consider yet additional, strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress, a co-equal branch of government,” Schiff said.

Schiff tied it all together with “national security” — using one of Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) approved impeachment codewords — in effect claiming that Trump was endangering the United States by obstructing the Democrats’ “constitutional” impeachment. But so far, no Democrats have bothered to explain exactly how Trump’s phone call with Ukraine — or the temporary withholding of military “aid” to the country — harmed America’s national security.

Republicans blast Dem show trial

For his part, Sondland’s lawyer said he was “profoundly disappointed” he could not appear Tuesday. Republican allies of Trump have said that they want to hear from Sondland, but not under the arbitrary and unfair terms of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which the White House called an “illegitimate” and “unconstitutional” process in a Tuesday letter to House Democrats.

Republicans have likewise said the Democrats’ inquiry is unfair and abusive toward President Trump’s due process rights, pointing to the fact that Pelosi has not called a formal vote to launch impeachment proceedings. Also unlike previous impeachments, the Republicans in the minority have been barred from issuing subpoenas, and Trump has been blocked from cross-examining witnesses.

“As far as the administration goes, if they don’t want to send Amb. Sondland here [it’s] because this is a kangaroo court, because there has not been a vote once on impeachment inquiry, because minority does not have any rights for subpoenas, because the president doesn’t have the right to…ask questions, subpoena power, to present evidence,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). “This entire thing is a political charade. It’s a clown show.”

The White House’s Tuesday letter also pointed to evidence of partisan motives by Schiff, who lied about having advance knowledge of the “whistleblower” complaint. In addition, Democrats have reportedly sought to have the whistleblower “testify” in secret from a remote location, rather than allowing Trump to face his accuser, and the whistleblower reportedly had a past “professional relationship” with a Democrat currently running for president.

“In any event, the American people understand that Chairman Schiff cannot covertly assist with the submission of a complaint, mislead the public about his involvement, read a counterfeit version of the call to the American people, and then pretend to sit in judgment as a neutral ‘investigator,'” the White House’s Tuesday letter to House Dems read. “President Trump and his [a]dministration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.