Let’s face it: If you’re Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the faces of the anti-Trump battalion in the lower House, and you’re being called out on the carpet by MSNBC for how you’re reacting to the indictment of former President Donald Trump, it’s pretty safe to say you’re doing something wrong.
In a Friday segment with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the veteran reporter was implicitly critical of Schiff for using the indictment to fundraise, arguing that perhaps the indictment of the former president had “already become too political.”
According to Fox News, the earth-shaking news that Trump was going to be indicted, which broke on Thursday, set off a wave of fundraising requests.
Now, obviously some of these were going to come from Trump, already a declared candidate in the 2024 presidential race.
“We are living through the darkest chapter of American history,” Trump’s campaign said in an email shortly after the news broke that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a progressive with George Soros backing, had secured a grand jury indictment over payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 campaign.
“The Radical Left – the enemy of the hardworking men and women of this country – have INDICTED me in a disgusting witch hunt. Alvin Bragg, the Soros-funded District Attorney behind the indictment, relied on the testimony of a convicted felon and a disbarred lawyer.”
“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done,” the fundraising email continued. “The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent who just so happens to be a President of the United States, has never happened before. Ever.”
Now, granted, this worked — Trump raised over $4 million in the 24 hours after the indictment, according to NBC News. But then, he’s the one being targeted; it doesn’t exactly look terrible if he fundraises off that fact. As Mitchell noted during her segment with Schiff on Friday morning, the Democrats were doing it, too — something that came across as a bit more unseemly.
“Has this criminal allegation, this indictment, already become too political? Donald Trump is raising, you know, a fortune, more than a million dollars, million and a half or more, just on the threat of the indictment,” Mitchell said.
“Large number of politicians, you know, are doing that. You are fundraising on it.”
A TL;DR version of Schiff’s response? Well, yeah, this is political, so make hay while the sun shines.
“Look, I think that this is going to be certainly a political issue – in terms of defending the rule of law on the one side, in terms of I think subverting the rule of law on the other,” Schiff said. (Curious that he didn’t say which side was which; I guess he thought that was a rhetorical given, but I wouldn’t bet on everyone taking it that way.)
“But the most important point for me is that this is an affirmation of the fact that no one should be above the law, that we all are held to account, but this is someone who has escaped accountability now for years and years,” Schiff continued.
“And yeah, so I’m going to speak out on it. Other people are going to speak out on it. I’m going to be pushing back against what Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan are trying to do in the House by running interference and trying to stop or somehow impede or discredit this investigation.”
Except the fundraising emails cited by Fox News’ report were more than just Democrats “speak[ing] out on” the indictment.
“BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury This is an important moment for our democracy, but our work isn’t over,” said Democratic Senate political action committee Senate Majority PAC in an email. “We must continue protecting our Senate majority from GOP extremists. Please, rush in $10 (becomes $60) to help Defend the Senate.”
Schiff’s fundraising email was less sensationalized, but no less partisan.
“It is a somber moment, and unprecedented for a former president to be indicted, but his alleged offenses are also unprecedented,” Schiff’s campaign said in an email asking supporters to donate $10.
“If the rule of law is to be applied equally — and it must — it must apply to the powerful as it applies to everyone else. To do so otherwise is not a democracy.”
“Trump will respond as he always does — playing the victim and blaming others for having the temerity to investigate him in the first place. And you know that I will be one of the first people he will go after. He always does.”
The guy being indicted on profoundly dubious charges by a district attorney from a party that’s made it job No. 1 to impeach or indict that guy since the moment he took office is “playing the victim.” Now, send me money.
Sounds like a “somber moment” to me. Don’t know why MSNBC could possibly think otherwise.
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