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Schiff: Impeachment may be 'only remedy' to whistleblower report

By
Daniel Uria
Rep. Adam Schiff said Sunday that impeachment may be the only remedy if President Donald Trump does not release transcripts of a call with the Ukranian president in which he allegedly pressured him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI
Rep. Adam Schiff said Sunday that impeachment may be the "only remedy" if President Donald Trump does not release transcripts of a call with the Ukranian president in which he allegedly pressured him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that impeachment may be "the only remedy" as President Donald Trump confirmed he discussed former Vice President Joe Biden and corruption with Ukraine's president.

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Schiff said he has been reluctant to join calls to impeach the president, but said the phone call would potentially be "the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office," during this or any other presidency.

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A whistleblower complaint submitted to the Intelligence Community Inspector General stated that Trump pressured new Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden's son, Hunter Biden, during a July 25 phone call.

"If the president is essentially withholding military aid at the same time that he is trying to browbeat a foreign leader into doing something illicit that is providing dirt on his opponent during a presidential campaign, then that may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that conduct represents," he said.

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Schiff added that there is no privilege protecting the president from covering corruption or engaging in "underhanded discussions."

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"Not if those conversations involve potential corruption or criminality or leverage being used for political advantage against our nation's interest," he said.

The news of the phone call has prompted a refreshed call from Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

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"For the sake of our Constitution and for the sake of our country: Donald Trump must be impeached, convicted in the Senate, removed from office and face criminal trial," Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Penn., wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also admonished Congress for not taking action to charge the president.

"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn't the president's lawbreaking behavior -- it is the Democratic Party's refusal to impeach him for it," she wrote.

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Earlier Sunday, Trump said his conversation with Zelensky was "largely congratulatory," adding that he did mention how he doesn't want people like Biden and his son contributing to "the corruption already in the Ukraine."

Trump, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn before flying to Houston, also said he doesn't believe the person who reported the call is a "whistleblower," stating that "you can't have people doing false alarms like this."

"When the president speaks to the head of another country, he has to be able to speak to those people and those people don't want to know that they're being recorded or that you have a stenographer working," he said. "You don't want to have to hear that. You can't do that to a president and you can't do that to other countries."

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Trump suggested he was open to a transcript of the call being released, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was "no evidence that would be appropriate here at this point."

"We don't release transcripts very often. It's the rare case," Pompeo said. "Those are private conversations between world leaders and it wouldn't be appropriate to do so except in the most extreme circumstances."

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