Schiff: Senators who fail to convict Trump will not be ‘off the hook’

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday senators voting to keep President Donald Trump in office will not be “off the hook,” as Democrats look ahead to the president's likely acquittal in the impeachment trial.

“I'm not letting the senators off the hook. We're still going to go into to the Senate this week and make the case why this president needs to be removed,” Schiff said on CBS’s “Face the Nation." “It will be up to the senators to make that final judgment, and the senators will be held accountable for it.”

Although the president will most likely remain in office, the lead House impeachment manager said, “I still think it’s enormously important that the president was impeached.”

“By exposing [the president’s] wrongdoing, we are helping to slow the momentum away from our democratic values until that progress away from democracy can be arrested and we can return to some sense of normalcy and support for the founders' ideal,” the California Democrat continued.

Schiff also said calling the president’s actions “inappropriate” does not go far enough in what he calls misconduct that “undermined our national security, as well as that of our ally, and threatens the integrity of our elections.”

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Ernst: Trump’s learned his lesson on foreign interference

Sen. Joni Ernst said on Sunday she’s confident President Donald Trump will not solicit foreign interference in another U.S. election if he's acquitted as expected in the Senate impeachment trial.

“I think that he knows now that, if he is trying to do certain things, whether it’s ferreting out corruption there, in Afghanistan, whatever it is, he needs to go through the proper channels,” the Iowa Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

To root out corruption in Ukraine, she added, the president should have instead gone to the Justice Department and other international organizations for help, but instead “chose to go a different route.”

Later, Ernst said she intends to vote for Trump’s acquittal.

“Whether you like what the president has done or not, we can argue this up one side and down the other all day," she said. "Does it come to the point of removing a president from office? I don't believe this does.”

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Alexander: ‘I’m going to vote to acquit’

Sen. Lamar Alexander says he plans to vote to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, citing concerns over establishing a “perpetual impeachment” in the House and “immobilizing the presidency.”

“I'm going to vote to acquit. I'm very concerned about any action that we could take that would establish a perpetual impeachment in the House of Representatives whenever the House was a different party than the president. That would immobilize the Senate,” the 79-year-old-Tennessee Republican said in an interview set to air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The retiring senator recalled the framers of the Constitution to express disdain over a situation “where a partisan majority in the House of either party can stop the government.”

A wild card ahead of a key vote Friday to bring new witnesses in the trial, Alexander voted against the move, in part because he contended it was too close to the November election where voters can decide the president’s fate.

Asked if it would be helpful for people to decide if they had more information, Alexander replied, “If you have eight witnesses who say someone left the scene of an accident, why do you need nine?”

Democrats had argued witnesses could have brought to light new details about the president’s decision to delay military aid to Ukraine.

The final vote on the two articles of impeachment is set for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and is expected to lead to Trump's acquittal.

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