House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said House Intel Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) wants to impeach President Donald Trump behind closed doors in an interview Monday with FOX Business Network's Maria Bartiromo on 'Mornings With Maria.'
"Well, this is part of Adam Schiff's -- it's like a kangaroo court he set up, but they've got this shroud of secrecy, where they want to drip out things that they want to allude to, they make false accusations to try to," Scalise said. "And so, why Adam Schiff continues to hide in secret the Volker testimony, he was already starting to leak out some things that were false about it, and everybody else that listened -- or was participating in the Volker testimony said that Schiff was being disinformative."
"They cannot name a high crime and misdemeanor," Scalise told Bartiromo. "They’re searching around on a witch hunt for it, but that’s not why you have a grand jury proceeding, for example. If he wants to use that analogy, does a district attorney really go and say, hey, we’re going to go and try to indict this person. Now let’s go see if we can find evidence of it and behind closed doors, they secretly try to find something."
"That’s not how it’s done. It ought to be in public," he said. "What is Schiff trying to hide, I think, is the real question when we’ve got an election next year. The people of this country should decide the president next year, not Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi behind closed doors, for goodness sake."
MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN ANCHOR: And joining me right now is Louisiana Congressman, House Minority Whip, Steve Scalise. And Congressman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks very much for joining us.
STEVE SCALISE (R-LA), HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: Morning. Good to be back with you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: So -- so, what is this all about? We know that it's all behind closed doors. We know that there hasn't been a vote, a formal vote, for the entire House to vote on impeachment. Why are they doing this, this way?
SCALISE: Well, this is part of Adam Schiff's -- it's like a kangaroo court he set up, but they've got this shroud of secrecy, where they want to drip out things that they want to allude to, they make false accusations to try to -- to tar the president, while if you look at the facts that have come out, the facts have all said that this is witch hunt, that the president did nothing wrong.
The transcripts -- you know, we’re talking about whistleblowers. Why do you need a whistleblower when you actually have the transcript of what was said, and the two people that were directly on the call both have said there was nothing wrong, including Zelensky, again, saying there was never any pressure. He thought it was a good, congratulatory phone call from President Trump.
And so, why Adam Schiff continues to hide in secret the Volker testimony, he was already starting to leak out some things that were false about it, and everybody else that listened -- or was participating in the Volker testimony said that Schiff was being disinformative and, frankly, that the entire thing should be released to the public.
What is Adam Schiff trying to hide, Maria? It’s like a continuing pattern we’re seeing from him of throwing out false information, hoping the mainstream press goes and runs with it because by the time the truth comes out, they’re on to throwing out more false accusations about this president, all to try to impeach a President of the United States based on secondhand information and false information. It’s alarming.
BARTIROMO: Yes, so what can you do about it? I mean, now this upcoming -- this week you’ve got a lot of your colleagues back, many of whom were either on recess or visiting within their districts. Does anything change this week that now you’ve got the membership back?
SCALISE: Well, it could, but frankly the first answer is to have a vote in the House on an actual inquiry, if that’s what they want. I think most people across the country are saying, you know, let’s focus on getting the economy back on track, focusing on things like USMCA and lowering drug prices.
You know, when you had the president go and get a partial agreement with China, that’s a big deal. It’s a big deal that should tell the rest of the world we can get better agreements with countries that have been taking advantage of us, and one good way to start is by passing a deal with our neighbors from the north and south -- Mexico and Canada -- and yet Pelosi won’t do that because she’s so fixated with impeachment.
And I think a lot of these members in swing districts are hearing that, hey, you ran saying you were going to work with people to get things done and all you’re focused on is impeaching the president over a lie about quid pro quo that never even happened. What are you people doing up there?
BARTIROMO: Yes, meanwhile the House Democrats are trying to figure out how to proceed at this point with the whistleblowers and any other witnesses in the impeachment inquiry. They want them to be able to provide written answers to questions. Obviously, Republicans don’t want it all kept in secret. House Intel Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff, had something to say about that. Listen to this. Got to get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SCHIFF (D- CA), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The Republicans would like nothing better because they view their role as defending the president, being the president’s lawyers. If witnesses could tailor their testimony to other witnesses, they would love for one witness to be able to hear what another witness says so that they can know what they can give away and what they can’t give away.
There’s a reason why investigations on grand jury proceedings, for example -- and I think this is analogous to a grand jury proceeding -- are done out of the public view initially.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: That was the -- that was the “Face the Nation” program yesterday. And “The Wall Street Journal’s” editorial board this morning writes this. “A grand jury? As Mr. Schiff knows, a grand jury is a criminal proceeding. Impeachment is a political process in which the House defines the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors. Mr. Schiff wants it both ways. Run his secret hearings like a criminal grand jury, but then impeach Mr. Trump of political offenses even if the President committed no crime.”
So your reaction, Congressman?
SCALISE: Wow. I mean, think about this. Schiff wants to impeach a President of the United States behind closed doors. As if we’ve seen (ph) anything like this. I mean, Andrew Johnson, they didn’t even try to do it this way.
You look throughout the history of our country. Again, only three times in the history of our country have impeachment proceedings come out of a committee; every single one of them started with a public vote. Not secret, but public, and this idea that you could hide everything in secret when they’ve got a track record of throwing out false information time after time to try to undermine the president.
And then the president -- they never thought, Maria, that the president was going to release the transcript because if the president didn’t release the transcript, could you imagine the media narrative and the Schiff narrative that, OK, look at all these high crimes and misdemeanors. We need to get to the bottom of it, and it turns out there were none.
They cannot name a high crime and misdemeanor. They’re searching around on a witch hunt for it, but that’s not why you have a grand jury proceeding, for example. If he wants to use that analogy, does a district attorney really go and say, hey, we’re going to go and try to indict this person. Now let’s go see if we can find evidence of it and behind closed doors, they secretly try to find something.
That’s not how it’s done. It ought to be in public. What is Schiff trying to hide, I think, is the real question when we’ve got an election next year. The people of this country should decide the president next year, not Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi behind closed doors, for goodness sake.
BARTIROMO: Yes, and interesting that when -- when Adam Schiff came out at the beginning of his first testimony, his first hearing, he sat at the gavel desk and basically read something that he made up.
I mean, the -- he had the transcript right there, but instead he said he wanted to read his parody and he was able to leak that. I mean, that -- that got out there and it went viral. So, everybody saw what he said.
SCALISE: Right. And would -- right, and would we have heard a different alternative if there was no transcript out there? He would have read it as if it was the whistleblower's direct knowledge of what happened.
SCALISE: And it wasn't. It was a made up lie, it was a disgrace, it shouldn't have happened, but it shows you how they're going to conduct things behind closed doors, which is why our members that are in those hearings come out and they say something completely different than the narrative that Schiff is giving to the press.
BARTIROMO: So, I want to -- I want to move on, but let me ask you, do you think that the House will impeach him and will the president be forced from office? Real quick.
SCALISE: The president will not be forced from office. Again, there's an election next year. But, I think Pelosi is so far down a road where her radical left has wanted to impeach the president from the day he got elected.
They didn't care about the facts, there are no facts of high crimes and misdemeanors, but I think they're on a drum beat so far down where AOC is driving this train in the far left and Pelosi is not running the House right now, they are.
BARTIROMO: So -- so, you think that they will then? Pursue impeachment?
SCALISE: I think it's -- I think it's inevitable.
BARTIROMO: All right.
SCALISE: And it's -- it's a disgrace, but that's where they are.