Adam Schiff – on impeachment hearings: “I can’t predict our decision”

Wednesday’s testimony in the House of Representatives gave the diplomats William Taylor and George Kent.

Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leading the investigation into the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump, praised testimony given Wednesday by witnesses during the first day of public impeachment hearings. The Intelligence Committee hearing today was broadcast live and lasted for five and a half hours.

Concluding the first day of hearings, Adam Schiff stressed that, judging by the testimony of witnesses who have previously testified at closed hearings, it becomes obvious that the actions of Donald Trump’s team in the case of withholding military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of almost $ 400 million in exchange for the investigation against Hunter and Joe Biden “does not serve the national interests, but goes deeply contrary to them.”

It was, Schiff recalled, about supporting a country that is “at war, at the forefront of Russian expansionism.”

“At the end of the day, we will need to make a decision, based on the evidence we have received, about whether we are prepared to accept a situation where the President, for his personal or political gain, can tie up military assistance, negotiations or any other form of official relationship to get help in his re-election. Should we accept the idea that this, or any other future President of the United States, might invite a foreign state to interfere in our Affairs? These are decisions that we will have to make when deciding whether to hold the incumbent President accountable,” Adam Schiff said.

Schiff also denied claims by Republicans that he met with the informant who wrote the complaint that served as the basis for the investigation.

The first participants in the public hearings were William Taylor, who heads the US diplomatic mission in Ukraine, and George Kent, Deputy assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Taylor said it was clear that US military assistance to Ukraine a few months ago depended on whether official Kyiv would agree to launch an investigation into Burisma, the Ukrainian company with which Hunter Biden was linked.

According to George Kent, the authorities cannot conduct selective, politically motivated investigations or prosecute their political opponents.

“I think it was a very strong testimony. Naturally, both of them are credible witnesses who spoke sincerely, and who feel great loyalty not only to the United States but also deeply concerned about Ukraine, it’s future and prospects,” Schiff said after the hearing.

“Republicans today did not make much effort to challenge these facts. Ultimately, what we will need to decide in the House of Representatives, and, if necessary, in the Senate: what will lawmakers think about – and what does it mean for the future of our country? What do Americans expect from the President of the United States?” the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee wondered.

“The founding fathers were deeply concerned about what might happen if the President-elect of the United States one day put his interests ahead of the interests of the country, sacrificed our national security for political or personal gain, or succumbed to foreign influence. So, we will make a decision. I can’t predict what it will be. One of the reasons we want these hearings to be held now in the open – we want the American people to be able to independently assess the credibility of the testimony, ” concluded Adam Schiff.