- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rep. Adam Schiff said Wednesday Democrats need to take a step back before jumping to talk of impeaching President Trump.

“I think we still have a lot of investigation to do as to what the president was asking the FBI director and why,” Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, said on CNN.

Mr. Schiff is the ranking Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

“We’re asked about [impeachment] all the time so there’s no avoiding answering the question, but I think all of us ought to talk about just a wrenching experience that would be to the country,” he said.

“In terms of repercussions, even if there were demonstrable evidence of obstruction, at the end of the day it’s a practical question for the Congress to decide,” Mr. Schiff said. “Ultimately, what’s at stake is members of Congress and indeed the country as a whole believe that the president’s conduct is corrupt enough that his removal wouldn’t simply be nullification of the election by other means. I think that really is the test.”

Mr. Schiff also said there’s more information needed prior to any calls of impeachment, including why former FBI Director James B. Comey didn’t release memos, like the one released Tuesday, earlier.

“One of the important questions that we’ll need to ask Director Comey when he comes to testify is if you thought this was so concerning that you put it in a memoranda and discussed with your top aides the propriety of this, why didn’t you bring it to the DOJ?” Mr. Schiff said on MSNBC.

The congressman also reacted to news that Russian President Vladimir Putin would send transcripts of his officials’ meeting with Mr. Trump, which he said proves no confidential information was shared.

“I find that quite amusing in two regards. One, probably the last person needs to vouch for him right now is Vladimir Putin. But even beyond that, the Russians have denied even hacking our Democratic institutions. Who is even going to give them any weight whatsoever?” he said. “If they want to send something, hats off, send it our way, but whether it would be, given any credibility, I can tell you its credibility would be zero.”

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