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On video, Rep. Schiff says Trump could sell Alaska to Russia if offenses not impeachable

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, (D-CA). (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times/TNS)
February 04, 2020

House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff warned the Senate that if Trump avoids impeachment despite abuses of power, he could sell Alaska to Russia and get away with it.

“If abuse of power is not impeachable … Trump could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election or decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and let Jared Kushner run the country, delegating to him the decision whether to go to war,” Schiff claimed.

“Because those things are not necessarily criminal, this argument would allow that he could not be impeached for such abuses of power. Of course, this would be absurd. More than absurd, it would be dangerous.”

Schiff’s remarks took place during closing remarks at the Senate’s impeachment trial in an attempt to convince Republicans that not impeaching Trump will result in a “runaway presidency.”

Schiff said the White House counsel’s argument is “dangerous” and “absurd” for asserting that a president can only be impeached for violating federal law.

“Under this theory, as long as a president believed his reelection was in the public interest he could do anything and no quid pro quo was too corrupt, no damage to our national security too great,” Schiff said.

The Senate is expected to hold a final impeachment vote on Wednesday. The chamber decided in a vote on Friday that it would not hear testimony from new witnesses.

The Democrats have accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $391 million in military aid to Ukraine pending an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that Hunter Biden worked for.

Burisma and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky previously entangled in scandals and corruption.

The Democrats insist Trump abused the power of his office for political gain.

Trump did, however, allow the military aid to Ukraine. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky later said he did not feel pressured or threatened by Trump to conduct an investigation.