MIDNIGHT IN WASHINGTON: REP. ADAM SCHIFF TALKS IMPEACHMENT, JANUARY 6, AND TRUMP 2024 OF "THE ISSUE IS"
In his new book "Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) pulls back the curtain on President Trump’s first impeachment trial, the January 6th Commission and his warnings for the future.
This week, the Congressman joins Elex Michaelson on The Issue Is to discuss the book, President Trump’s past and future, and much more.
Michaelson is also joined by sports reporter Arash Markazi to discuss recent sports controversies, including the resignation of Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden over surfaced emails, NBA star Kyrie Irving’s stance against vaccines, and the questionable end to the Dodgers-Giants game.
THE ISSUE IS: CRIMINAL CONTEMPT FOR STEVE BANNON?
SCHIFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Steve Bannon was subpoenaed to come appear this week, produce documents - he did neither. You can't just simply say, 'well, I don't care to show up for a deposition,' that's not how compulsory process works. What our chairman has decided to do, and I fully support the decision, is we're going to have a business meeting on Tuesday. We're going to take up a report that recommends holding him in criminal contempt, if it passes out of our committee, as I expect it will, it'll be taken up on the House floor, and if it passes there, as I expect it will, it will be sent to the Justice Department and the law provides that the Justice Department has a duty to then present it to the grand jury. So yes, if you refuse legal process, you could be prosecuted. And if that's what's necessary to get answers, then that's what we'll do…"
THE ISSUE IS: THE JANUARY 6TH COMMISSION
SCHIFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "There are a lot of things we're looking at, we're looking at how were these rallies organized? Where did the money come from? What understanding or expectation of violence did people have organizing them? But the biggest unknowns are what was taking place in the White House? What was taking place with the President? Why backup wasn't sent to the Capitol sooner? What the President knew about the propensity for violence that day? Was this an effort, after everything else failed, after his litigation bombed, after his efforts to use the Justice Department to coerce Georgia or to manufacture false claims of fraud in the elections after those things failed, was this the last-ditch effort to use violence or the threat of violence to get Mike Pence to violate his constitutional duty? Those are the questions we're determined to answer, among many others…"
THE ISSUE IS: THE FALL OF SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER
SCHIFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I have just incredible respect and reverence for Bob Mueller, I think he's a tremendous human being and a tremendous public servant. But I also wanted to be candid about what what it was like, and so I describe in the book asking the members of the Intelligence Committee to sit with me in the skiff, in that bunker three floors below the Capitol, and watch Mueller's first testimony before the Judiciary Committee hours before he would testify before our committee... I was shocked at the changes that I had seen, that I witnessed. We quickly began to change the nature of the questions and cut them down and made them much shorter and specific, not ask for narrative answers, and it's part of the historic record that I think needed to be told. But I wanted to tell it in a respectful way, I hope I did, because I think he's a tremendous public servant…"
THE ISSUE IS: BEHIND THE CURTAIN ON IMPEACHMENT 2020
SCHIFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I was not one of those people who was calling for Trump's impeachment the moment he got elected - far from it. I was trying to push back against that, particularly while the investigation was still ongoing... The Mueller investigation was still proceeding, we didn't know what his report would say, we didn't know what his conclusions would be, and so from my point of view, it was premature to be talking about the ultimate remedy, and I think, frankly, that helped me make the case in the Senate - the fact that I wasn't an earlier eager proponent, that I thought only under extraordinary circumstances should we use that remedy... When we saw the President's further misconduct, and this was the really important factor to me, the President was on the phone with the head of Ukraine the day after Bob Mueller testified - that is the day after he thought he escaped any responsibility, accountability for the Russia misconduct, he was back on the phone once again, trying to get the help of another foreign country to help him cheat in an election. That was enough for me, that really convinced me that we needed to go forward with impeachment…"
THE ISSUE IS: TRUMP 2024
SCHIFF’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I am certain that Donald Trump is going to run for President again, and I say that because I think he would find it intolerable if someone else got all that attention... I think pathologically, he cannot help but run. And at the moment, he has got such a grip on that party that I would certainly expect if he runs, he'll be the nominee. If he's the nominee, we are going to beat him, because we have to, because the democracy will ride on it, and we will not survive another four years of Donald Trump and have a country with a democracy that looks anything like what it does today…"
The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.