Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who played a central role in President Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial, said Friday he sees a “profound and disturbing echo” of what unfolded late last year in the administration’s coronavirus response.
Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the president’s reluctance to work with Democratic governors who are critical of him is the “strongest echo” from the impeachment proceedings.
During the Senate trial that ultimately ended with Trump’s acquittal in early February, Schiff argued that the president withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for a political favor. In addition, House Democrats argued that the president obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate with the congressional impeachment inquiry.
“The strongest echo from the trial was when he was talking about how he didn’t want to return the calls from governors, he didn’t want his vice president to return calls from governors that weren’t saying nice things about him,” Schiff said on MSNBC on Friday. “Really, they weren’t saying things about him that could then be turned into campaign commercials as indeed he has.”
“That was such a profound and disturbing echo of what he tried to do with Ukraine,” Schiff added. “So, sadly, as we pointed out in the trial, a man with no moral compass will not find his way, and this president certainly hasn’t.”
Schiff claimed that Trump disbanded the pandemic preparedness office put in place under the Obama administration because of a “fundamental insecurity” he has toward former President Obama.
“He had to get rid of it because it was a product of the Obama administration, and the fundamental insecurity he has toward his predecessor meant he had to do away with anything associated with President Obama,” Schiff said.
“Well, that left the nation unprotected. … Leaving our country vulnerable because he felt that was politically advantageous was so true to form. His character will not change, he will not change, and now it has such tragic and deadly consequences,” he added.
This piece was originally published at the Hill.