After being tapped by Nancy Pelosi Wednesday to head the team of House managers who will conduct the impeachment prosecution of Donald Trump in the Senate, Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff predicted that, despite the GOP’s wishes, new evidence is likely to be exposed during those hearings.
“There’s going to be new evidence coming out all the time. And if this is conducted like a fair trial, then that new evidence should be admitted,” the Burbank Democrat told the Los Angeles Times. “If it’s relevant, if it’s probative, if it sheds light on the guilt or innocence of the president, then it should be admitted.”
Although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’ll push for a trial that contains no evidence that wasn’t brought out in the House hearings and no witnesses, Schiff believes he and the other six House managers will win that argument thanks to public opinion.
I'm humbled by the solemn responsibility of serving as lead House Manager in the Senate impeachment trial.
Together, the Managers will work on behalf of the American people in defense of our Constitution.
The House upheld our Constitutional duty. The Senate must do the same.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 15, 2020
“It will be hard, I think, for the senators to ignore new and probative evidence,” he said. “What are they gonna say? ‘We’re not going to look at that. We don’t want to see it. We’re going to close our eyes and close our ears and just pretend it didn’t happen or [that] we didn’t learn this fact’? So there are limits, I think, to the ability of Sen. McConnell to prevent meaningful evidence from being considered.”
As lead House manager, Schiff will oversee the Congressional team that will read the articles of impeachment to the Senate, give opening and closing statements, present evidence and examine witnesses.
Schiff was a natural pick for the prosecution’s top spot. A Harvard Law grad, he lead the House impeachment hearings and has been perhaps the sharpest thorn in Trump’s side for three years. He was also a manager in the impeachment of federal judges in 2009 and 2010.
“You do need leadership, somebody who’s going to coordinate,” Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) said. “Adam conducted the investigation, he oversaw it, and he did a lot of questioning and the cross-examination.”
In a statement today, Schiff said, “I am humbled by the responsibility of serving as the lead House Manager in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump, and thank Speaker Pelosi for the trust she has place in me and our team. It is a solemn responsibility and one that I will undertake with the seriousness that the task requires.”
He added, “Trump’s abuse of power is a clear and present danger to our democracy and national security interests. The House upheld our Constitutional duty. Now it’s up to the Senate to do the same.”
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