Politics

Schiff’s spotlight: Inside building the case for Trump’s impeachment

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided to endorse a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump, she put the gavel in the hands of one of her most trusted committee chairmen: Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) of the Intelligence panel.

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Schiff is briefed by staff of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before a meeting with her.

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Schiff questions Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman during the public impeachment hearing.

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For the past two months, Schiff has been the man at the center of a political firestorm, steering the House through an unprecedented investigation into whether Trump leveraged the power of his office and the resources of the country to exact personal, political favors from a foreign leader that could affect the next election.

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Schiff gets his makeup applied before a "60 Minutes" interview on Capitol Hill.

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"60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley prepares to interview Schiff in his Capitol Hill office.

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Schiff works as he walks with members of his staff, Emilie Simons, right, and Jenna Glaper.

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Pelosi and Schiff enter an elevator before holding a news conference regarding the impeachment inquiry.

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Schiff long expected he would spend this term investigating Trump’s foreign dealings, especially regarding Russian election interference, but when a series of surprise turns brought Congress to focus on Ukraine this fall, it would be up to Schiff to pivot.

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Outside the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), Schiff speaks to journalists after U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland missed his closed door deposition.

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Schiff is interviewed by "PBS Newshour" in the Cannon Rotunda.

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President Trump appears on television as Schiff watches cable news in his office.

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Schiff is briefed by staff as he navigates the tunnels under Capitol Hill.

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In six weeks, the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight panels would depose nearly 20 witnesses behind closed doors, allowing Democrats to piece together a narrative of how Trump, his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and his Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney allegedly orchestrated a shadow campaign to circumvent the normal foreign policy channels, and pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating debunked conspiracy theories and a political rival. Over the next two weeks, the Intelligence panel then took the probe public, featuring a dozen witnesses in seven hearings conducted over five days.

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Schiff uses his phone alongside Chief of Staff Jeff Lowenstein.

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House Democrats applaud Schiff at the conclusion of a caucus meeting.

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Schiff is approached by members of the media as leaves the U.S. Capitol.

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In a way, Schiff has the perfect résumé for this role: Schiff spent years as a federal prosecutor, building complex criminal cases, including ones that involved the inner workings of the government. One of Schiff’s most significant convictions was against an FBI agent who became a Soviet spy.

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But as a lawyer in Los Angeles, he also understands how to craft a drama – while working as an assistant U.S. attorney there, he also wrote a screenplay. He continues to represent the motion picture industry to Congress, which is situated in his district.

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Schiff walks through the Burbank Airport.

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Schiff attends a Veterans Day event in his Congressional House District in La Crescenta, Calif.

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Schiff’s critics say that combination of experience means he is selling the public a story that is crafted to scintillate rather than reflect substance. But to his supporters, it simply means he can weave together an exacting case and translate it to the public – the ultimate jury in determining whether the Democrats’ impeachment maneuver was worth it.

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Images of Schiff cover a board at his office in Burbank.

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Schiff works in his Burbank office.

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Piles of paperwork and notes from constituents await Schiff's attention.

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Schiff has his portrait taken by LA Weekly in the alley just outside his Congressional District office in Burbank.

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Schiff speaks with staff on the phone as he travels to an event in Burbank.

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It was up to Schiff to distill a complicated narrative of warring American bureaucrats and Ukrainian oligarchs into a simple story of attempted bribery – and to take the hits in the process from Trump and his allies in the GOP, who cried foul, accusing Schiff of cooking up a lawless probe to satisfy Democrats’ political animus against Trump.

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Schiff looks for a member of his staff between votes on Capitol Hill.

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Schiff greets a constituent visiting his Washington office.

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Aboard the House Congressional underground train, Schiff speaks to fellow members and staff.

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Schiff travels in an elevator accompanied by staff and Capitol Police officers to conduct an impeachment hearing on Capitol Hill.

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