Live

Watch CBSN Live

Schiff says impeachment inquiry is "not about Ukraine," but about protecting U.S. democracy

Schiff speaks after impeachment report released

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff urged Americans on Tuesday to pay attention to the impeachment inquiry into President Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

"This is not about Ukraine. This is about our democracy, this is about our security," he said, shortly after House Democrats released their report on the impeachment investigation. "Americans should care deeply about whether the president of the United States is betraying their trust in him."

"It's dangerous to have a president who thinks he's above the law," Schiff continued. He said Mr. Trump's actions were "signaling to any future president they can engage in whatever corruption, malfeasance" without consequences.

Schiff referenced an October press conference during which acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney indicated a hold on aid to Ukraine was a quid pro quo and said people should "get over it."

"I, for one, don't think we should get over this. I don't think we should get used to it," Schiff said.

The report released earlier Tuesday accused the president of placing "his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States" and endangering national security by soliciting assistance from a foreign government to boost his reelection prospects.

The report is based on over 130 hours of public and private testimony by 17 witnesses over the past two months. The case against the president centers on a delay in military aid to Ukraine and his request that the Ukrainian president investigate a political rival and unfounded allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Schiff wrote in the preface of the 300-page report that Mr. Trump not only compromised American national security by withholding aid to Ukraine but also obstructed justice in his opposition to the inquiry.

Grace Segers and Stefan Becket contributed to this report.

View CBS News In