Schiff: Congress Would Take a Look at Mueller's Evidence 'if Necessary'

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The chairman of the House intelligence committee pointed to the case of Michael Cohen, the president's former personal lawyer, in which the government described how "Individual 1" directed and coordinated a campaign fraud scheme.

"It's very hard to make the argument that the person who was directed and was coordinated should go to jail but the person who did the directing and did the coordinating should not", Schiff told reporters at a breakfast on Tuesday organized by the Christian Science Monitor. And knowing that the White House would drag out a fight over the subpoena, that may be an issue as well.

The funding is essentially a placeholder in the Justice Department's budget request for fiscal 2020, a Justice Department official said. I don't think that's a supportable position, ' Schiff said.

After months of expressing certainty over a Trump impeachment-and even an indictment that would land the ex-president in prison-Schiff's softening of his stance could be the latest indicator that Democrats are expecting the findings of Special Counselor Robert Mueller to be underwhelming and anticlimactic.

'In its absence an impeachment becomes a partisan exercise doomed to failure, ' Schiff said.

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The written answers didn't provide clarity on questions surrounding possible obstruction of justice into the Russian Federation investigation and Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, later said his legal team wouldn't provide additional answers.

Further, he said, if the DOJ takes the position that a sitting president cannot be indicted, while not sharing information about Mueller's investigation with Congress so that it can determine if impeachment is warranted, "that amounts to immunity for the president", Schiff said. He vowed to obtain phone records of Donald Trump Jr. because Democrats suspected they might entangle the elder Trump, but that did not prove to be so.

Schiff's comments echoed Pelosi's, who told The Washington Post recently, in the most unequivocal language yet, that she would not support impeachment because it wasn't worth the potential fallout.

"Well, if there's insufficient evidence in the Mueller report and we're not able to produce sufficient evidence in our own investigation, that ends the inquiry", Schiff explained.

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