Schneider again calls for Trump impeachment; 'He literally subordinated our foreign policy priorities'
U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider on Wednesday renewed his call for articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over the president's dealings with Ukraine.
In an hourlong discussion with editors and reporters at the Daily Herald's office in Arlington Heights, Schneider, a Democrat from Deerfield, accused Trump of putting his personal interests above the country's.
"He literally subordinated our foreign policy priorities, our national security, for his own personal interests," Schneider said.
Trump is accused of withholding aid from Ukraine while asking that nation's president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.
Trump has said he held up the aid to fight corruption and denies that his requests were part of a "quid pro quo" trade or tied to the aid freeze.
Schneider doesn't buy that.
"It is clear on the face of things that there has been a quid pro quo," said Schneider, who represents Illinois' 10th District. "And if there's an abuse of trust, I think that's something that should be an impeachable offense."
Schneider also criticized the role Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, played in the White House's dealings with Ukraine.
"You have a possible abuse of power with him allocating the responsibilities of the state department to Rudy Giuliani," Schneider said. "And you have what appears to be, at least in the narrative that's been presented, a cover up."
Although many of Trump's critics are champing at the bit for the chance to impeach the president and potentially remove him from office, no one should be gleeful about impeachment, Schneider said.
The 58-year-old lawmaker recalled being an adolescent during the Watergate investigation that uncovered corruption by then-President Richard Nixon and his closest allies and eventually led to Nixon's resignation.
"This is a sad circumstance for our nation," Schneider said. "Short of a declaration of war, which is the responsibility and authority of Congress, I think this is the second-most somber, serious step that Congress can ever take."
Only the U.S. House can begin the impeachment process and file charges. If Trump is impeached, the trial would be held in the Senate and presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Schneider said he believes everyone deserves their day in court -- even the president.
"He'll have that in the Senate," Schneider said.
Two U.S. presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Neither was convicted by the Senate.
Schneider also discussed the cost of health care, the U.S. military's presence in the Middle East, election security and other issues with the Daily Herald.
When asked who he's supporting in the 2020 presidential race, Schneider was noncommittal.
"I'll tell you the same thing I'm telling everybody: the Democrat," Schneider said. "I believe any of (them) would do a better job than the person we have now."
Still, without naming anyone, Schneider acknowledged the stances of some of the more moderate candidates align better with his own views.
A meeting between the Daily Herald editorial board and U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider covered a range of topics. Here's where each topic is introduced on the video.
(1:09) 'We're in a historic time'
(6:22) Bipartisan bills on health care, retirement
(7:00) 'All legislation goes to the Senate graveyard'
(11:26) What he's telling kids this week
(13:45) Elizabeth Warren's health care plan
(14:33) Why not Medicare for all?
(19:10) Building on the Affordable Care Act
(21:13) Election security in 2020
(26:27) Ethylene oxide in Lake County
(33:25) Why the Ukraine story is different from the Mueller report
(36:15) Believes there was a quid pro quo
(38:42) Troops in Saudi Arabia and Syria
(41:20) Who will he be supporting for the Democratic nomination?
(46:27) Impeachment process coinciding with primaries
(47:14) 'I want to remove President Trump'
(49:00) The role of Facebook and Twitter in the election