Schiff says more hearings, witnesses possible

Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday he won’t foreclose the possibility of his committee undertaking more depositions and hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that his committee continues to conduct investigative work, but he won’t let the Trump administration stall the inquiry.

Schiff’s staff and others are compiling the panel’s findings to submit to the House Judiciary Committee, which is expected to open its own hearings to consider articles of impeachment and a formal recommendation of charges. He said his committee may need to file addendums to its report so that the Judiciary Committee can move ahead.

“The investigation isn’t going to end,” Schiff said.

Democrats argue that the president leveraged his office for personal political gain, but Republicans contend that the allegation is unsupported by firsthand testimony.

The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, said on “Fox News Sunday” that public hearings over the past two weeks have drawn in many Americans who don’t normally follow cable news. He said the hearings showed House Republicans are serious legislators and were “nothing but a total disaster” for Democrats.

“It’s probably the first time that they actually realized this whole Russia thing was a hoax and the Ukraine thing is a hoax,” Nunes said of viewers.

Schiff said he wants to talk with constituents and colleagues before making a final judgment on impeachment. Still, he argued that the evidence produced so far “overwhelmingly shows serious misconduct by the president.”

Congressional Republican support for Trump is showing no overt signs of buckling. Schiff said that if no Republicans ended up voting to support impeachment, he believes it would mean a failure of the GOP to put the country over their party. He contended that if President Barack Obama had acted like Trump on Ukraine, Republicans “would have voted to impeach him in a heartbeat with a fraction of the evidence.”

Polling has shown that while public opinion has shifted recently toward slightly backing Trump’s impeachment, Democrats strongly support the effort while Republicans vehemently oppose it. Independents have been divided.

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