Donald Trump’s not going away — and neither is investigator Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions witnesses during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington. Image via AP.

schiff
“We want to show the country just how Jan. 6 came about."

Nearly a year out of the White House, Donald Trump continues to circle the Republican Party, commanding attention and influence as he ponders another run for the presidency.

And still circling Trump is Rep. Adam Schiff.

Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman who rose to national prominence probing Russian election interference and leading the first Trump impeachment, says there’s nothing less than democracy at stake with the former president’s continued presence on the national political stage.

As a key member of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Insurrection at the Capitol, the congressman whom Trump mercilessly mocks with derisive nicknames is turning his attention to Trump’s role in that deadly riot.

“We want to show the country just how Jan. 6 came about — and not just the mechanics of that day, in terms of the participation of the white nationalist groups … but rather how this big falsehood about our elections propelled thousands of people to attack their own government,” Schiff says in an interview on C-SPAN’s Book TV, airing a week from Sunday.

“What did the president know about who was coming to this rally and what did he do when he found out?” Schiff asks. “Why did it go on so long? And so there are a lot of important unanswered questions.”

As the committee ramps up its inquiry, it’s a familiar role but also a new chapter for Schiff, the federal prosecutor turned congressman whose life’s work is now defined in large part by the man he calls a “clear and present danger” to U.S. democracy.

Last winter, Trump was impeached a second time, accused of inciting the riot. But the House prosecutors, much like Schiff in the first trial that was focused on election interference involving the Trump campaign and Ukraine, failed to win conviction in the Senate.

This time, the California Democrat says the select committee expects to uncover fresh information about Trump’s involvement that January day, as he encouraged the mob of his supporters to head to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to reverse his electoral defeat to Joe Biden. Deaths in the riot and its aftermath included Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by police, and several officers who later took their own lives after the most serious attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

In a new book with a weighty title, “Midnight in Washington, How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could,” Schiff writes his personal, gripping account of that day: Preparing to don a gas mask in the House chamber, being forced to flee as the mob approached.

Republican colleagues warned him he needed to stay out of sight because of his recognizable role as a Trump critic. But during the hours that followed, as the House returned to tally Electoral College votes for Biden, Schiff came to see Republican lawmakers, in “suits and ties,” as an institutional threat as serious as the rioters who bludgeoned their way into the building in an effort to overturn the election.

The special committee is drilling down not just on Trump, but also potentially Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and the president’s other allies in Congress who perpetuate the claim that the election was somehow rigged or illegitimate — though every state has certified its results as accurate, and dozens of court challenges have gone nowhere.

“I’m trying to convey the fragility of our democracy — something that we always took for granted — but something that in the last four years has been dismantled piece by piece by piece,” Schiff said about his book.

He expects the committee to deliver “the definitive report,” much as the 9/11 commission produced a comprehensive examination of the 2001 terror attack on the U.S.

Trump scoffs at the committee, refusing to participate. Two prominent GOP lawmakers, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois have essentially been disowned by their party for joining the panel and its probe.

Trump says the Democrats are “drunk on power,” and he is urging some of his former staff and administration officials not to comply with subpoenas or other requests for testimony. He’s basing that stance on claims of executive privilege even though he no longer holds office. This week, the panel announced it would vote to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for defying a subpoena.

“The Radical Left Democrats tried the RUSSIA Witch Hunt, they tried the fake impeachments, and now they are trying once again to use Congress to persecute their political opponents,” Trump said in a recent statement.

Schiff tweeted this week the panel is “not messing around’ and expects Biden’s Department of Justice to prosecute the criminal contempt cases to force compliance.

The goal, Schiff says, is for the committee’s end product to be a “historic record as a way of exposing to the American people what went into that tragedy, but also as a way of forming recommendations about how do we move forward as a country, how do we protect our democracy.”

With Trump ensconced at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, weighing another White House run and visiting the early voting states to rally big crowds, Washington is waiting and wondering about his next move.

Schiff acknowledges that he and other Democrats were ill prepared for Trump’s popularity, and still five years on struggle to mount a compelling counter-argument to woo back voters who left the party for Trump.

More immediately, Democrats face the prospect of a House Republican takeover in next fall’s midterm elections, elevating McCarthy to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“If Kevin McCarthy were ever to become speaker, essentially Donald Trump would be speaker,” Schiff warns.

He and Democratic colleagues have assembled a package of post-Watergate style legislation aimed at shoring up the nation’s civic infrastructure and tightening ethics rules for the post-Trump era. But faced with Republican opposition, it is unlikely to pass the Senate.

Schiff positions America’s experience alongside a broader “global struggle going on right now between autocracy and democracy. People around the world used to look to us as a beacon. Now they see people climbing on the outside of our Capitol, beating police officers,” he said.

“So many of the things that we thought could never happen in this country have already happened.”

___

Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


14 comments

  • PeterH

    October 16, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Adam Schiff are true patriots and champions of American democracy.

    Trumpism and it’s followers will be defeated if Constitutional loyalist show up and vote these Republican traitors out of office.

    • Zhombre

      October 16, 2021 at 10:30 am

      LOL 😂 what a schmuck

    • Ron Ogden

      October 16, 2021 at 10:30 am

      You can play pretend on Capitol Hill all you want, if you are such a poor student that you have not learned your lesson that it is the people, the people, who rule here.
      The lefties like Schiff, who take the word “democracy” in vain as they claw and scratch to keep power, can see their day of destiny on the horizon. America will indeed by great again, and that necessarily means people like Schiff and Pelosi will disperse in the shame of their failed ambitions.

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      • Ocean Joe

        October 16, 2021 at 6:40 pm

        America is great, Ron. Far from perfect, but still great. And the fact we survived a pathological liar and nincompoop being in charge for 4 years proves it.

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      October 16, 2021 at 10:53 am

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    • Tom

      October 19, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      Predator lapdog weasel Peter H.
      You are the apologist liar. Go get towels for Schmidt & Wilson.

      Adam Schiff is a threat to America.
      He literally lied in public and read a statement letter that potus 45 never said. No facts, just lies. Letter had been released.

      Wait til the new Repub 40 seat net win majority comes. New Repub congress will come from net wins in Florida & Texas. 12 Dems are retiring, more coming.

      Multiple impeachment’s of POTUS, V POTUS coming.

      LMAO, Pelosi won’t be around.
      Major ass kicking! Enjoy

    • Tom

      October 20, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Hey pops goes weasel peter h.
      DHS secretary tested positive with Covid. It wouldn’t be all the illegals crossing over the border would it?
      2 million illegals worth by end of year.

      Cheney and specifically shifty Schiff are embarrassments like you.
      Of course you support them.

  • Charles

    October 16, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Investigator Adam Schiff ??
    Schiff is a political hack, hypocrite, and unethical human being. He has absolutely no credibility or integrity. Hero of the left, enemy of real America.

  • FP Monitor

    October 16, 2021 at 10:42 am

    It’s a big mistake is to respond to anything Tom posts. He’s an ignorant Trumpster hack simply looking for attention. Do yourself and all of us a big favor …… ignore all of his return comments. Maybe the internet troll will go away.

    • Evan Miller

      October 17, 2021 at 10:26 am

      We should do the same for you.

    • Tom

      October 19, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      LMAO

      Hey jack off FP monitor I didn’t say anything. You are a programmed tool Manchurian.

  • JmjUSA

    October 16, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Associated DE-pressed… Full blown dementia jill schiff-the-sniffer spokeszerson…
    The ap, once, like the NYCrimes… Insolvent, Insolent & Compromised

  • Tom

    October 19, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    You are a pathetic liar water boy Joe.
    You will be slurping with Alex in sick house coming.
    Oh yeah the last 9 months are a disaster but just ignore. Cocoon Liberal.

Comments are closed.


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