Wednesday, Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told the Senate that it would be wrong for a president to ask the Department of Justice to investigate a political rival.
However, as pointed out in a new report by Joel Pollak from Breitbart, Schiff defended then-President Barack Obama investigating political rival Donald Trump.
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told the Senate that it would be wrong for a president to ask the Department of Justice to investigate a political rival. But Schiff defended then-President Barack Obama doing just that to then-candidate Donald Trump.
The remark came during the first of two days of questions and answers in President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
Schiff was responding to a query proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), asking a hypothetical question about whether Obama would have had the authority to investigate suspected corruption by a son of Mitt Romney, Obama’s rival in his 2012 re-election campaign.
The lead House manager dismissed the hypothetical, then went on to argue that a president should not ask the DOJ to investigate a rival.
Counterintelligence investigations differ from criminal investigations in their means, scope and ultimate disposition. Their goal is not successful prosecutions, but to identify and mitigate threats to national security. If a foreign power possessed compromising information on a U.S. government official in a position of influence, that is a counterintelligence risk. If a foreign power possessed leverage, or the perception of it, over the president, that is a counterintelligence nightmare.
Schiff added that the public deserved to see the material that the FBI found on the Trump campaign. (We know today that the FBI lied to the FISA court to obtain surveillance warrants on a Trump aide.)
Later on, White House attorney Jay Sekulow noted that Trump had been a victim of exactly the kind of investigation that the Obama administration had initiated under Operation Crossfire Hurricane.
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