While Donald Trump was engaged in his usual, grade-school name-calling, by referring to Rep. Adam Schiff as “Little pencil neck Adam Schiff. He has the smallest, thinnest neck I have ever seen.” — and while Trump’s supporters lustily laughed and cheered at that childish reference from the President of the United States — those same supporters missed hearing one of the great Congressional speeches of our time.
Long after Trump and his foul-mouthed, lying tirades will be forgotten, Schiff’s speech, before the House Intelligence Committee, will be remembered as a pivotal point in American history, defining a microcosm of where America is today and where America could be tomorrow.
It is a choice between accepting the continuing lying and lawlessness of a President and his criminal associates vs. demanding the constitutional democracy we fought so hard to achieve.
Here is the complete text of Adam Schiff’s marvelous speech, which should be read by every America politician, and every American voter:
My colleagues may think it’s OK that the Russians offered ‘dirt’ on a Democratic candidate for president as part of what was described as the Russian government’s effort to help the Trump campaign. You might think that’s OK.
My colleagues might think it’s OK that when that was offered to the son of the president, who had a pivotal role in the campaign, that the president’s son did not call the FBI, he did not adamantly refuse that foreign help. No, instead that son said that he would ‘love’ the help of the Russians.
You might think it’s OK that he took that meeting.
You might think it’s OK that Paul Manafort, the campaign chair, someone with great experience at running campaigns, also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law also took that meeting. You might think it’s OK that they concealed it from the public.
You might think it’s OK that their only disappointment after that meeting was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasn’t better. You might think that’s OK.
You might think it’s OK that when it was discovered, a year later, that they lied about that meeting and said that it was about adoptions. You might think that it’s OK that the president is reported to have helped dictate that lie. You might think that’s OK. I don’t.
You might think it’s OK that the campaign chairman of a presidential campaign would offer information about that campaign to a Russian oligarch in exchange for money or debt forgiveness. You might think that’s OK, I don’t.
You might think it’s OK that that campaign chairman offered polling data to someone linked to Russian intelligence. I don’t think that’s OK.
You might think it’s OK that the president himself called on Russia to hack his opponent’s emails, if they were listening. You might think it’s OK that later that day the Russians, in fact, attempted to hack a server affiliated with that campaign. I don’t think that’s OK.
You might think that it’s OK that the president’s son-in-law attempted to establish a secret back channel of communication with the Russians through a Russian diplomatic facility. I don’t think that’s OK.
You might think it’s OK that an associate of the president made direct contact with the GRU through Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks, that is considered a hostile intelligence agency.
You might think it’s OK that a senior campaign official was instructed to reach that associate and find out what that hostile intelligence agency had to say in terms of dirt on his opponent.
You might think it’s OK that the national security adviser-designate secretly conferred with the Russian ambassador, about undermining U.S. sanctions, and you might think it’s OK that he lied about it to the FBI. You might say that’s all OK. You might say that’s what you need to do to win. But I don’t think it’s OK.
I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And yes, I think it’s corrupt and evidence of collusion.
Now I have always said that the question of whether this amounts to proof of conspiracy was another matter. Whether the special counsel could prove beyond a reasonable doubt the proof of that crime would be up to the special counsel, and I would accept his decision, and I do.
He is a good and honorable man and a good prosecutor.
But I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do think that’s OK, is the day we look back and say, “That is the day that America lost its way.”
And I will tell you one more thing that is apropos of the hearing today.
I don’t think it’s OK that during the Presidential campaign Mr. Trump sought the Kremlin’s help to consummate a real estate deal in Moscow that would make him a fortune, according to special counsel, hundreds of millions of dollars.
I don’t think it’s OK that he concealed it from the public. I don’t think it’s OK that he advocated a new and more favorable policy toward the Russians even as he was seeking the Russians help – the Kremlin’s help to make money.
I don’t think it’s OK that his attorney lied to our committee.
There’s a different word for that than “collusion,” and it’s called “compromised.”
And that is the subject of our hearing today.
Send a copy to your Senators. Send a copy to your Representative. Send a copy to your friends and relatives. Read it to your children.
It defines what being an American really means.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell