OPINION: Is not testifying a testimony?

On Sunday, Adam Schiff (D-CA) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and said Democrats will continue the proceedings into the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump without testimonies from crucial witnesses. 

Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, will not wait on Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, former national security adviser John Bolton, or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify in public. Each of these men have been asked to do so but have all declined. 

They can all give imperative perspective on the investigation and it would likely be in defense of Trump. If the Trump administration is so confident in its innocence on the matter then testifying in front of the American people should be an easy call. Apparently not. 

At first glance, this is a bad look for Democrats and the inquiry as they are leaving stones left unturned. But if the stones are too heavy to be budged, there’s only so much that can be done. The opportunity to testify was given and if Pence and company doesn’t want to capitalize on it, it’s a detriment to them and the American people. 

Since the public hearings began, it’s been nothing short of damning for Trump. Witnesses including Amassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and a long list of apolitical career diplomats testified to the committee under oath. This list could have been longer but evidently we should just take the administration’s declaration of innocence as is. You know, because that’s not sketchy at all. 

As per due process, Trump is in fact innocent until proven guilty and the lack of testimony from key witnesses may make it harder for Democrats to prove this guilt. But they tried and the White House’s silence may be the loudest testimony of them all.

Contact Jarett Theberge at [email protected]