Trump’s ‘impeachment adviser’ Pam Bondi says looming charges are weighing on him: ‘Is this difficult? Of course it is’

White House adviser defends administration working ‘hand in hand’ with Senate Republicans during impeachment trial

Chris Riotta
New York
Sunday 15 December 2019 23:16
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Trump's 'impeachment adviser' Pam Bondi says looming charges are weighing on him

A White House adviser tasked with defending Donald Trump during the impeachment proceedings against him suggested the pressure of the looming charges was beginning to weigh down on the president just before an official vote.

Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who the president hired last month to serve as a voice for the administration while it battles back against the public impeachment hearings, slammed the House-led inquiry in an interview with Fox News Sunday.

“Is this difficult? Of course it is”, Ms Bondi said. “And that’s why the lawyers, we are all handling this impeachment sham and charade with the weakest of weak evidence … now going to the US Senate.”

She described the two charges against the president — obstruction of Congress and abuse of power surrounding his dealings with Ukraine — as “some of the weakest” in history, and said the White House would work “hand in hand” with Republican leaders in shaping the narrative of the US Senate trial if the House votes to impeach Mr Trump.

The interview came after Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed he would work with the administration to ensure the president was satisfied with the impeachment process after it likely moves into the next phase following a vote in the US House of Representatives.

Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace pressed Ms Bondi over “how impartial” Senate Republicans can truly be when Mr McConnell “says that he’s taking his cues” from the White House administration.

“Well, okay so Chris, go back to the House proceedings”, Ms Bondi began, attempting to deflect the question before deriding House intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who helped spearhead the investigation into Mr Trump.

“Pam, I’m just asking you — wait — I’m asking you about McConnell saying he’s taking his cues from the White House”, Mr Wallace interrupted. “Please answer the question.”

Ms Bondi continued to assert the White House was not “given a fair trial in the House” and that the administration “should be working hand in hand” the Senate, adding: “These are the senators who will decide if our president is impeached — which will not happen — we should, and will, work hand in hand with them.”

“We wouldn’t be doing our job if we weren’t working hand in hand with the Senate to clear the president of this charade, this sham that started with Adam Schiff”, she said.

Ms Bondi, a former prosecutor and assistant state attorney, has been an ardent supporter of Mr Trump throughout his presidency.

Her office never went through with investigating the president’s controversial Trump University after announcing it was “reviewing the allegations” from local residents who filed complaints following a class action lawsuit.

Mr Trump donated $25,000 (£18,761) to Ms Bondi’s re-election at the time, though she has said that did not factor into her office’s decision not to probe Trump University.

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