Admissions Against Interest - When Even Adam Schiff Nudges Joe to Go, the Dam of Denial Is Bound to Break

Senate Television via AP

There's a quandary one is presented with when faced with the words of someone with a known penchant for fabrication: Should you believe anything they say, ever? 

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There's a principle followed in the law that offers some guidance on that quandary: If what the person is saying cuts against their own interest, it's more likely that it's true. That concept is actually embodied in an exception to the hearsay rule (which excludes evidence of out-of-court statements) commonly referred to as an "admission (or statement) against interest." The logic there is fairly evident — people generally aren't inclined to reveal things contrary to their interests unless they're true. 

That's a principle I employ when considering statements by people like Adam Schiff (D-CA) — for what should be obvious reasons. 


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So when Schiff tells NBC News' "Meet the Press" that questions about Biden's age and vigor are legitimate, it bears noticing. 

On Sunday morning's show, host Kristen Welker asked Schiff whether Biden is the strongest candidate to beat former President Donald Trump. Note that Schiff initially attempts to avoid giving a direct answer, crowing about Biden's "extraordinary" presidency before pivoting to call Trump the devil incarnate. But as he gets warmed up, he acknowledges that Biden is, in fact, not the strongest candidate to beat Trump. 

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SCHIFF: ...but the performance on the debate stage...um...I think rightfully raised questions among the American people about whether the president has the vigor to defeat Donald Trump. 

And this is an existential race. Given Joe Biden's incredible record, given Donald Trump's terrible record, he should be mopping the floor with Donald Trump. Joe Biden's running against a criminal — it should not be even close, and there's only one reason it is close, and that's the president's age. 

And, what I would say, Kristen — what I would advise the president — is: Seek out the opinions of people you trust. He's obviously talked to his family about this, and that's important. But he should seek out people with some distance and objectivity. He should seek out pollsters who are not his own pollsters. 

He should take a moment to make the best-informed judgment, and if the judgment is "Run," then run hard and beat that SOB. 

Note the not-so-subtle hint from Schiff for Biden to quit listening to just what he wants to hear (i.e., from family members and his own pollsters). Welker followed up to ask if Schiff feels Biden's Friday interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos answered concerns raised after the debate and whether he feels Biden should drop out of the race. 


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SCHIFF: The interview didn't put concerns to rest. No single interview is going to do that. And what I do think the president needs to decide is: Can he put those concerns aside? Can he demonstrate to the American people that what happened on the debate stage was an aberration, that he can and will beat Donald Trump? 

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So Schiff obviously is stopping short of calling on Biden to exit the race outright, but as with Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) notable pivot on Tuesday, his message is clear: "Do the right thing, Joe." (Translation: "Exit stage left.")

Now, a careful observer might also note that nudging Joe out the door might not actually be counter to Schiff's own interests, given his own political future hangs in the balance as he faces Republican challenger Steve Garvey in a bid for California's U.S. Senate seat in the fall, and he may long for stronger coattails to ride and/or may believe that future is brighter with a President Kamala Harris (or Gavin Newsom). 

Still, it's evident that even some of Biden's strongest supporters have lost confidence in his ability to win (and lead). Welcome to the club, Adam. 

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