Schiff: 'Remarkable' some Republicans say Trump's conduct wrong but not impeachable

As Republicans expressed hope Sunday that President Donald Trump will know better next time, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday that it is "remarkable" that some in the GOP have been saying the House "proved its case," but still do not think the president should be removed from office.

"What's remarkable is you now have Republican senators coming out and saying, yes, the House proved its case," Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager, told CBS's "Face the Nation." "The House proved the corrupt scheme that they charged in the articles of impeachment. The president did withhold hundreds of millions of dollars from an ally to try to coerce that ally into helping him cheat in the next election."

"That's pretty remarkable when you now have senators on both sides of the aisle admitting the House made its case and the only question is, should the president be removed for office because he's been found guilty of these offenses?" he continued.

Schiff's comments came days after the Senate voted against bringing forth additional witnesses, such as Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and documents in the trial. Only two Republicans, Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted in favor of witnesses.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he did not support voting in favor of witnesses because the House had "proved" that Trump linked nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine with investigations he sought into former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Democrats, and that extending the trial was unnecessary. Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a Medium post that simply "because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office." And Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, criticized Trump's conduct as "wrong" but said it was not worthy of impeachment.

The Senate is expected to acquit Trump this week. Early Sunday morning, Trump, who called his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that led to his impeachment "perfect," tweeted that Democrats "don’t want justice when pushing the Impeachment Hoax, they only want to destabilize the Republican Party so they can do better in the 2020 election," adding, "They are playing with the people by taking it this far!'

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., walks away from the media to the Senate chamber during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol Wednesday Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., center, steps up to a microphone as Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., left, and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., finish speaking with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
As President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shifts to questions from senators, the lawmakers use these cards to hand-write their inquiries which are passed up to Chief Justice John Roberts, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, pauses as he speaks to a reporter outside the Senate chamber during a break in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, right, confers with his communications staffer Katie Mulhall Quintela, left, during a break in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Democratic impeachment manager House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., right, walks out of the Senate chamber during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol Wednesday Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., walks out of the Senate chamber during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
House Democratic impeachment manager, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., walks out of the Senate chamber during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol Wednesday Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
House Democratic impeachment manager Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., right, walks out of the Senate chamber during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, speaks to the media during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., waits to speaks with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, rides an escalator before speaking with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead Democratic manager, leaves the Senate chamber during a break as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stretches into the night, in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y. waits to speak with reporters during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leaves the Senate chamber during a break as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stretches into the night, in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., talks to the media break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, walks with aides to the Senate chamber after a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In this image from video, presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts reads a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, Eric Herschmann, an attorney for President Donald Trump, answers a question during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, Eric Herschmann, an attorney for President Donald Trump, answers a question during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, White House counsel Pat Cipollone answers a question during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, White House counsel Pat Cipollone speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., answers a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, walks from the podium after answering a question during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate chamber after a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday Jan 29, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts departs at the end of the day in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts departs at the end of the day in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters as he departs at the end of the day in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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Speaking with NBC's "Meet the Press," Alexander said Trump "shouldn't have" withheld aid to Ukraine and pursued investigations into Democrats the way he did.

"I think it was wrong," he said. "Inappropriate was the way I'd say — improper, crossing the line. And then the only question left is who decides what to do about that."

"I think what he did is a long way from treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors," he added. "I don't think it's the kind of inappropriate action that the framers would expect the Senate to substitute its judgment for the people in picking a president."

Alexander and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, both expressed hope that Trump wouldn't do the same again now that he's gone through impeachment.

"I don't think so," Alexander said when asked if he had any reason to believe Trump would engage in the same conduct moving forward. "I hope not. Enduring an impeachment is something that nobody should like. Even the president said he didn't want that on his resume. I don't blame him. So, if a call like that gets you an impeachment, I would think he would think twice before he did it again."

"What example in the life of Donald Trump has he been chastened?," Chuck Todd asked in response.

"I haven't studied his life that close," Alexander said, adding that "hopefully he'll look at this and say OK, that was a mistake, I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have done it that way."

The retiring senator said Trump should've called Attorney General William Barr instead of the Ukrainians if he wanted an investigation of the Bidens.

"Maybe he didn't know to do it," Alexander said, adding that wasn't "an excuse" for Trump's conduct.

On CNN's "State of the Union," Ernst said she believes Trump "knows now that, if he is trying to do certain things, whether it's ferreting out corruption there, in Afghanistan, whatever it is, he needs to go through the proper channels."

Ernst said Trump's discussion with Zelenskiy was "maybe not the perfect call."

Schiff said that to describe Trump's conduct as "merely inappropriate" is understating the consequences.

He added that such characterization "doesn't begin to do justice to the gravity of this president's misconduct, misconduct that I think undermined our national security as well as that of our ally and threatens the integrity — the integrity of our elections."

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