Trump Atty: Schiff Opened 'Double Door' Bringing Up Burisma, Ukraine, John McCain 'Testimony' at Impeachment
After two days of droning on and spinning tales about quid pro quos and bringing back the debunked Trump-Russia hoax as part of his impeachment case, Adam Schiff switched things up a bit at the impeachment trial on Friday. And it's a move he may well regret.
Trump attorney Jay Sekulow looked non-plussed as he told reporters, "For the life of me – and I don't know why they've done it – but ... they opened up a door as wide as a double door on the Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Burisma..."
Schiff's final day of arguments against President Trump also had him using a 2014 clip of deceased senator and Trump-hater John McCain talking about using Ukraine as a wedge against Russia.
The Hill reported Schiff's comments:
"One American, a war hero and statesman who is no stranger to this body recognized the threat posed by Russia in Crimea was Senator John McCain," Schiff said.
"Senator McCain advised, this is a chess match reminiscent of the cold war and we need to realize that and act accordingly. He was, of course, absolutely right," he continued.
Schiff's assertions about Ukraine and Russia statecraft was tantamount to revelations that the sun came up this morning. But Schiff is still hoping to sell the debunked idea that Trump conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections and apparently that he was willing to sell out Ukraine to do it.
The entire argument is absurd. It was under the Obama administration that the hot war between Russia and Ukraine flared. Obama did nothing as Russia invaded the Crimean Peninsula and Ukraine. Obama refused to send Ukraine weapons to use against Russia. Trump did.
Obama colluded with Russian leaders to take our missile defenses out of the Czech Republic and Poland "as a gift" to Putin, as Mitt Romney put it at the time.
Indeed, opponents to Obama's moves included former congressman-turned-governor and now Vice President Mike Pence, former House Speaker John Boehner, and then-Senator John McCain.
Schiff brought back the deceased McCain to "testify" on Ukraine and Russian hegemony. He played a 2014 video clip from a Bloomberg News interview (see below). The Hill transcribed the clip:
"Putin sees, here's this beautiful and large and magnificent country called Ukraine, and suppose Ukraine, finally after failing in 2004, gets it right, democracy. Gets rid of corruption, the economy's really improving, and it's right there on the border of Russia," McCain told Bloomberg at the time.
"And so I think it makes him very nervous if there was a success in Ukraine in bringing about a free and open society and economic success, which is not the case in Russia," he added.
Democrats, who are new to opposing Russia except when they try to smear Trump, have spun allegations of the Trump-Russia collusion, which the Mueller report and inspector general's report spent years and millions of dollars investigating and debunking.
Trial attorney Robert Barnes noted that Schiff claimed Russia might hack the Ukraine company Burisma. But he quipped, "How is that possible when #SchiffShow assured us there is not any possible evidence of anything bad at all concerning Biden & Burisma? #ImpeachmentTrial"
Sekulow told reporters during a break in testimony that bringing up Burisma opens a big door for the president's lawyers:
"I guess they think that was their way of getting ahead of it – we'll address it. I want you to think about this a moment. Joe Biden was charged the Vice President of the United States with Ukraine policy. That was his specific charge. His son went to work for – went on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. First, the vice president said he knew nothing about it but the state Department knew about it because they were afraid when people were coming up for confirmation that that issue might arise. So believe it you'll hear about that issue too."
Joe Biden has said he would not be a part of any testimony at the impeachment trial.
Here's Schiff's introduction of McCain's video: