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Adam Schiff: Donald Trump withholding Ukraine aid for Joe Biden dirt likely impeachable

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Sunday said if President Trump withheld military aid to compel Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, then impeachment “may be the only remedy that is coequal to the evil that conduct represents.”

“This would be, I think, the most profound violation of the presidential oath,” Mr. Schiff told CNN’s State of the Union. “There is no privilege that covers corruption.”

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, said he views impeachment as a “last resort” and extreme remedy, pushing back at Democrats who say the House should have begun the process after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling.

The congressman said Capitol Hill colleagues might have, however, been pushed to the edge by reports suggesting Mr. Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Mr. Biden’s efforts to oust a prosecutor in 2016.

“We may very well have crossed the Rubicon here,” Mr. Schiff told CNN’s State of the Union.

Mr. Trump is suggesting that Mr. Biden tried to insulate his son, Hunter Biden, who had business interests in Ukraine.

The president reportedly urged Mr. Zelensky “about eight times” to cooperate with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on investigating Hunter Biden.

A July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky is reportedly at the heart of a whistleblower complaint that an inspector general for the intelligence community dubbed credible and urgent.

Mr. Trump said Sunday he did nothing wrong during the call, though Mr. Schiff said the president is too scared to prove it, citing his efforts to block Joseph Maguire, his acting director of national intelligence, from handing over the whistleblower complaint.

“Why doesn’t the president simply release the transcript of that call?” Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, said.

“Why doesn’t the president just say, ‘Release the whistleblower complaint?’”

The Democratic congressman also dismissed a statement from Ukrainian foreign minister, who said there was “no pressure” from Mr. Trump during the call.

Mr. Schiff said Ukraine has been put in an impossible position, since it relies on the Trump administration for military aid.

“This president is nothing but vindictive,” Mr. Schiff said.

About $ 250 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine was released Sept. 12, after a delay. Democrats say they’re worried the money was held up as part of Mr. Trump’s push to have the Bidens investigated.

Mr. Schiff said he will fight Mr. Trump’s efforts to block the whistleblower complaint.

“We cannot afford to play rope-a-dope in the court for weeks on end,” Mr. Schiff said.

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