Ol’ Shifty Schiff is getting desperate and it’s showing!
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff was appointed as one of the House impeachment managers, but he is taking the position overboard. Schiff, along with the other managers, sent a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in an attempt to disqualify him from representing the president in the impeachment trial.
The articles of impeachment allege Trump committed “obstruction of Congress” by following legal advice to decline subpoenas, the lawyer who advised him is a “material fact witness.”
“Evidence indicates that, at a minimum, you have detailed knowledge of the facts regarding the first Article and played an instrumental role in the conduct charged in the second Article,” the letter reads. “The ethical rules generally preclude a lawyer from acting as an advocate at a trial in which he is likely also a necessary witness.”
JUST IN: The House says Trump's top impeachment lawyer, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, is a "material fact witness" and must disclose evidence before the start of the trial. pic.twitter.com/fRJOhweK9A
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) January 21, 2020
Democrats are declaring that Cipollone should have to “disclose all facts and information to which you have first-hand knowledge that will be at issue in connection with evidence you present or arguments you make in your role as the President’s legal advocate,” in order to represent Trump.
In other words, Cipollone would have to violate attorney-client privilege and his duty of confidentiality to his client, effectively disqualifying him from participating.
The extraordinary letter is the latest in a series of bold — or desperate — tactics by House Democrats determined to retain control of an impeachment process that has passed into the hands of the Republican-controlled Senate.
So basically they are claiming that President Trump does not have a right to legal counsel.
Cipollone responded in a memorandum:
[T]he House’s factual investigation was supervised by an interested fact witness, Chairman Schiff, who—after falsely denying it—admitted that his staff had been in contact with the whistleblower and had given him guidance. See Part II.C. These three fundamental errors infected the underpinnings of this trial, and the Senate cannot constitutionally rely upon House Democrats’ tainted record to reach any verdict other than acquittal.
In other words, by using that exact same logic in reverse, Schiff would also have to be disqualified from the trial.