Schiff claims president made ‘veiled threat’ to him…

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff said Wednesday that he believes President Trump attempted to threaten him by suggesting he be subjected to Guatemala’s justice system.

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, was responding to a remark Mr. Trump made about him the previous day during a press conference held in the Oval Office alongside Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

Complaining about the congressman’s interpretation of his now-infamous July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, Mr. Trump said Tuesday: “In Guatemala, they handle things much tougher than that.”

“I think that’s what he intended it to be,” Mr. Schiff told CNN when asked if he considered the comment a threat.

“This is a president, after all, who has said of people who blow the whistle on him that they’re traitors and spies and should be treated as traitors and spies used to be treated,” he said. “We used to execute traitors and spies. So this is not a president above threatening anyone who gets in his way, anyone who stands up to him.”

Asked to further describe how he interpreted Mr. Trump’s remark, Mr. Schiff said he considered the undertone to be “very much a reference to Guatemala’s violent history.”

“I think it was quite deliberately designed to be a threat, and this is the president’s modus operandi,” he said. “I’m not the first person he’s made a veiled threat about, I won’t be the last. But this is precisely the kind of conduct Americans should not accept in the Oval Office.”

The White House did not immediately return a message seeking its reaction to Mr. Schiff’s response.

Democrats controlling the House initiated an impeachment inquiry after a member of the U.S. intelligence community raised concerns about Mr. Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr. Schiff subsequently read a dramatized version of the call during a House hearing in September, and Mr. Trump has for months criticized the congressman’s interpretation and called for him to resign and be arrested for “treason.”

The intelligence committee led by Mr. Schiff spearheaded the inquiry that culminated in the full House’s expected vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

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