House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke with reporters on Monday about the ongoing impeachment inquiry and how the White House has been attempting to block officials from testifying despite legally valid subpoenas from Congress.
Schiff told reporters on Monday that he will no allow Donald Trump’s obstruction to slow down the proceedings. In fact, Schiff said that he will use Trump’s attempt at obstruction as another case for impeachment.
“We are not willing to let the White House engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the courts, so we press ahead,” Schiff told reporters. The evidence for obstruction is already “a very powerful case against the president,” he said.
His announcement came in the face of former Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman’s defiance of a congressional subpoena. Kupperman, ordered not to testify by the administration, has filed a lawsuit seeking to adjudicate whether he must comply with the subpoena.
Schiff disparaged this move, saying, “A private citizen cannot sue the Congress to avoid coming in when they are served a lawful subpoena.”
Schiff said that instead of trying to force Kupperman to testify through the courts, the House will simply consider his refusal as more evidence of this obstruction.
“If this witness had something to say that would be helpful to the White House, they would want him to come and testify,” Schiff said. “They plainly don’t.”
“What I find harder to understand is why the Republican members of this body in this House don’t want these witnesses to come forward,” Schiff told reporters. “Where is their duty to this institution? Where is their duty to the Constitution? Where is there respect for the rule of law?”