Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, one of the lead impeachment managers during President Donald Trump‘s first impeachment, called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to provide support in the latest efforts to remove the president from office after Wednesday’s Capitol riot.
In an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Fridady, the congressman said that McConnell “bear[s] the responsibility for whatever dangerous acts this president commits,” if the senator stops or delays impeachment.
Maddow asked the congressman about a memo reportedly being circulated in the Senate by McConnell, which says that the Senate wouldn’t begin a trial until after President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration. Schiff said that “if Mitch McConnell wants to move with expedition, he knows how to do it.”
He also warned about McConnell “drag[ging] this out,” shifting responsibility to the Senate Majority Leader for actions taken by Trump.
“He will bear the responsibility for whatever dangerous acts this president commits. For whatever abdication of responsibility, for whatever further attack on our institutions, if Mitch McConnell draws this out, delays, stonewalls, drags his heels—then he will bear the responsibility,” Schiff said.
The Democrat continued: “Given the erratic nature of this president, given how many people—the rising number of people in his own conference—who are calling for this president to leave office, I would not want the responsibility for standing in the way of upholding our constitutional duty.”
Schiff released a statement on Friday, calling for Trump’s impeachment, saying the president would likely be responsible for further acts of violence. The congressman urged Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump. He called for a swift impeachment. Part of his statement can be found below:
“The Congress should act to begin impeachment proceedings as the only instrument wholly within our power to remove a president who has so manifestly and repeatedly violated the Constitution and put our nation at grave risk. The exigency of the circumstances warrants a departure from the ordinary and lengthy process in the House; a resolution of impeachment focused on the attack should be brought to the House floor on a privileged basis and, upon passage, taken up by the Senate with equal expedition so that the President can be tried, and through conviction, the country can be protected from further harm.”
During Friday’s interview, Schiff said that the best thing Trump could do was resign, but expressed doubts that he would or that Pence would invoke the 25th.
“The president has never been concerned with what’s best for the country, only what’s best for himself. So, I don’t have a whole lot of hope or expectation that he will do the right thing,” he said.
He also said that Trump remaining in office was “a danger to the republic,” calling for a quick impeachment.
Newsweek reached out to Schiff’s office and McConnell’s press secretaries for comment.