According to a new book, two of the powerful anti-Trump Democrats, Jerry Nadler, and Adam Schiff clashed over how to handle the ex-president’s first impeachment.
According to the forthcoming book, Reps Jerry Nadler of New York and Adam Schiff of California reportedly disagreed over how much power to give Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee and how it should have addressed potential “due process concerns” over the partisan proceedings.
“It’s unfair, and it’s unprecedented, and it’s unconstitutional,” Nadler reportedly told Schiff, according to an excerpt from “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.” The book, written by Politico Playbook co-author Rachael Bade and Washington Post reporter Karoun Demirjian, will be published on October 18.
As reported by those in the media who have seen excerpts or advance copies of the book, Nadler felt that if the Judiciary Committee did not cross-examine witnesses, Trump and his attorneys would raise concerns about whether his due process rights had been violated.
Nadler reportedly wanted Democrats to handle charges Trump abused his power by freezing aid to Ukraine like the Judiciary panel handled President Richard Nixon’s impeachment before he resigned.
“If we’re going to impeach, we need to show the country that we gave the president ample opportunity to defend himself,” Nadler warned Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, per the book.
In the end, Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee took the lead role in handling Trump’s impeachment, a break from the historical tradition of the Judiciary Committee handling such proceedings. According to the authors, this was because Pelosi did not trust Nadler.
But the writers imply that it may very well have been the move that helped to sink any reasonable expectations of getting enough GOP Senators to go along with impeaching the 45th President.
As Nadler had anticipated, Trump’s lawyers would later make due process complaints the center of their defense during the Senate trial. Trump was later acquitted, with only one Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney, voting to convict him on the charge of abusing his power.
Romney was the first senator in US history to vote to convict an impeached president of their own party; perhaps if Nadler had his way, there could have been more, according to the authors.