Donald Trump Suggests Adam Schiff Should Be Arrested for “Treason”

The apparent threat signals the start of another ugly week in Washington.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump on Monday suggested that the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), should be arrested for “treason.” The incendiary comment came amidst a flood of irate tweets by Trump Monday morning and as the president escalates his war with Schiff, who over the weekend signaled that testimony from the whistleblower whose complaint triggered impeachment proceedings against the president could be imminent. 

Why is Trump floating the notion of Schiff getting arrested? Because in Schiff’s opening statement at last week’s hearing with acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, he parodied Trump’s efforts to push the Ukrainian president into launching an investigation into Joe Biden. “Shorn of its rambling character, and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates,” Schiff had noted at the top of the opening remarks, before going on to accurately characterize Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian leader.

In recent days, Trump has openly flirted with retaliating against his political enemies, including the whistleblower at the center of the Ukraine scandal. During one furious thread late Sunday, the president demanded to meet the whistleblower face to face and again suggested that the individual had improperly spied on him. The attack on the whistleblower came just days after Trump all but suggested that they should be executed

Shortly after, Trump promoted a Fox News appearance from Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, during which Jeffress warned of a “civil war fracture” if Democrats successfully removed Trump from office. “This is beyond repugnant,” Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger responded on Twitter, yet another sign of dissent growing among Republicans over the president’s actions and behavior. Together, the late-night tweets offered a preview of the chaos that’s likely in store for the week ahead. His tweets Monday morning confirmed that yes, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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