Congresswoman Karen Bass held a teleconference with the press ahead of the impeachment hearings set for December 4, 2019, and the 90-day government blackout. Following the near long-running investigation and multiple reports put out by various sources, the hearing will add much-needed clarity, an effort Bass was willing to share with the press.
Bass opened the conversation detailing the importance and urgency regarding the timeline the government officials are currently against. As the representative for District 37, Bass promises to update the press with calls and town halls.
“My committee was looking at obstruction of justice volume two of the Meuller Report. The intelligence committee was looking at volume one of the Meuller Report, which is the involvement of the Russians in our election process,” she begins. “As we were caring on that investigation, it was interrupted by a whistleblower who came forward and actually brought information forward to the public that said what the president is doing now is actually interfering with the next election.”
As she has stated multiple times, the Mueller Report deals with the past, but recently Adam Schiff created a nearly 400-page report regarding the conduct of Trump in 2019, which discussed two main issues – Trump’s misconduct and his obstruction of the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry.
Bass compares the impeachment of President Nixon to that of Trump’s, saying “There isn’t anything President Nixon did that even comes close to the misconduct and obstruction of President Trump.”
In Schiff’s report, four points of misconduct are identified. Firstly, his request for a political favor from the president of Ukraine. Secondly, he fired Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was known for fighting corruption and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Thirdly, he picked his agency, which created a shadow policy that investigated Joe Biden and lastly, froze military assistance and put a condition on meeting with him in White House based on a favor transaction.
Bass details various events where Trump implicated himself, including the infamous press conference in which he stated, “we do this all the time, get over it.” With that statement, Bass says he essentially admitted to corruption, betrayal of national security in the service of foreign interest and abuse of power on live television.
The second item focused on was the obstruction of the impeachment inquiry by, “essentially preventing us from constitutional authority for congressional oversight an impeachment.”
“Remember how republicans keep saying everything is hear-say?” she asks, “but ironically, if you believe the president is innocent, then why don’t you bring forward the information?”
“The whole thing that they wanted to know, if he had the information, then why wouldn’t he [whistleblower] come forward; we want to see the whistleblower,” she said, adding, “I don’t think they care about seeing the whistleblower; I think they are doing that so they will intimidate anyone else from being a whistleblower.”
Bass then opened the floor for questions, the first regarding young voters and what should be done to get them in the know and to the polls.
“We’re going to have constitutional scholars basically talk about impeachment,” she explains Schiff’s hearing where they were called “fact witnesses”. “They gave us a huge report with a ton of facts, now our job is to evaluate those facts and see if those facts warrant articles of impeachment.”
“I am hoping that it will be clear and easy to understand,” she says. “I frankly think the only way to deal with voters and young voters is to get out there and do the grassroots method of reaching out and contacting them.”
“I am very worried that this man who is sitting in the White House today is trying to subvert our elections, that’s why we all have this sense of urgency,” she says regarding President Trump. “We feel that this guy is dangerous; it’s not about what he did before, it’s about what he’s doing now. That’s the urgency, and it might result if we’re successful in President [Mike] Pence.”
Bass, who once believed Pence could become problematic, now says, “I don’t think he’s a danger now.”
“I think that if we’re able to remove Trump, we would see a number of Republicans jump in to run, I do not think Pence would go unchallenged.”
Regarding Trump finishing his term or allowing Pence to take his position, she stated, “I think we have to move; I think we cannot wait. Even though the election is just a year away, we don’t know what this guy is going to do over the next year.”
“As impeachment moves forward, I’m worried that he is going to get more and more unstable and do more irrational things.”
“One of the dilemmas we are facing right now is how many articles of impeachment should there be,” Bass said. “We will have articles of impeachment that are the easiest to understand, the clearest and we are not going to take forever doing this.”
“It is not accurate that the judiciary committee is going to do three to four articles of impeachment; we have not even had that discussion yet. But when we get to that point, it will be very clear which ones we are doing and why.”
“The reason I believe we have to impeach him now and we have to impeach him quickly, is because I believe he is a clear and present danger to our nation, and I think he is going to continue to try to interfere in the 2020 election if we do not impeach him.”