House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff understands that the battle to dismantle and oust Donald Trump needs to be fought on two levels. By adding people like former SDNY prosecutor Daniel Goldman to his team, Schiff is showing that he knows there’s a legal aspect to taking Trump down. But Schiff is also showing that he knows there’s another side to this.
Ousting any sitting president, even a corrupt and illegitimate one like Donald Trump, partly involves a battle in the court of public opinion. House Democrats took a necessary first step in that direction by bringing in Trump’s former henchman Michael Cohen to publicly testify about the crimes he committed for Trump. His testimony elicited a visceral reaction from the general public, as it helped confirm what they already instinctively knew about Trump. Now Adam Schiff is talking about the next steps in this PR battle.
We already know that House Democrats are bringing in Trump’s former business partner Felix Sater and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg to publicly dish on more of Trump’s crimes, for instance. But that’s just an intermediary step. Based on what Schiff said on NBC this morning, he’s already focused on the endgame.
This morning Adam Schiff said it’ll be a “mistake” if Robert Mueller doesn’t force Donald Trump to testify in person as part of his Trump-Russia investigation. We don’t know what Mueller will ultimately do on that front; thus far he’s only gotten written answers out of Trump. But we know what Schiff is doing here. He’s laying the groundwork to subpoena Trump to publicly testify before Congress about his scandals. In such a setting, Donald Trump would quickly unravel. His testimony would consist of blatant lies that would get him nailed for felony perjury, and unwitting truthful admissions that would incriminate him for all to see. Bring it on.