Watch: Adam Schiff says Congress is weighing how to deal with Republican January 6th insurrection enablers
United States Representative and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-California) – who also serves on the twilighting Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the Capitol – suggested on Sunday's edition of CNN's State of the Union that Republican lawmakers who participated in former President Donald Trump's failed coup could face consequences from congressional oversight panels.
The Select Committee will release its list of criminal referrals to the Justice Department during its final public hearing on Monday.
But when moderator Jake Tapper asked Schiff to comment on what – if any – legal perils await Trump, Schiff refused to give away the ballgame.
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Do you think the evidence is there that Donald Trump committed any of the crimes I just mentioned and that the cases are prosecutable, that you could get a conviction?
Yes, I think that the evidence is there that Donald Trump committed criminal offenses in connection with his efforts to overturn the election. And viewing it as a former prosecutor, I think there's sufficient evidence to charge the president. I don't –
To get a conviction, though?
Well, I don't know what the Justice Department has. I do know what's in the public record. The evidence seems pretty plain to me. But I would want to see the full body of evidence – if I were in the prosecutor's shoes – to make a decision. But this is someone who in multiple ways tried to pressure state officials to find votes that didn't exist. This is someone who tried to interfere with a joint session, even inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.
If that's not criminal – then, then – I don't know what it is.
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So, you're going to vote yes on insurrection -- on referring insurrection – obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government, all three?
I can't comment on what referrals we're gonna make. We will have a vote on referrals, as well as approving our overall report. But I can tell you that our process has been to look meticulously at the evidence and compare it to various statutes. I
Is there sufficient evidence as to each element of a particular crime? We are not referring, or at least won't be voting to refer, everyone we think there may be evidence, because we want to focus on those for which we believe there's the strongest evidence.
So, I know you can't speak for the whole Committee, but I'm talking about how you personally are going to vote. You're still not gonna –
Well, let me just say I'm happy to share my personal views, which is –
But do you think he committed insurrection, obstruction of official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government?
You know, I don't want to telegraph too much what we're considering.
But I will say that I think the president has violated multiple criminal laws. And I think you have to be treated like any other American who breaks the law, and that is, you have to be prosecuted.
The insurrection charge is interesting. It's a specific federal statute. No one has been charged with insurrection related to January 6th, not even the Oath Keepers who were charged with seditious conspiracy, which is a pretty serious charge.
Can you explain the charge, the crime of insurrection?
Yeah. Well, there are actually three provisions, three processes for dealing with insurrection by a president. There's the criminal statute that you mentioned, there's the 14th Amendment – which makes commission of insurrection a bar to holding office – and then there's the impeachment process. And, in terms of the criminal statute, if you can prove that someone incited an insurrection, that is, they incited violence against the government, or they gave aid and comfort to those who did, that violates that law. And if you look at Donald Trump's acts, and you match them up against the statute, it's a pretty good match.
I realize that statute hasn't been used in a long time. But, then, when we had a president essentially incite an attack on his own government?
There's some talk also of your Committee referring to the House Ethics Committee some members of the House of Representatives who may have participated in the insurrection in some way and refused to comply with the investigation.
Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry comes to mind. He referred Jeffrey Clark, who was this kind of obscure lawyer, tried to -- he was, I guess, part of this conspiracy to get him -- in some way to get him, Jeffrey Clark, to become head of the Justice Department, so he would weaponize the Justice Department.
Is that also on the docket tomorrow, voting to refer for House Ethics investigation your fellow members of Congress, some of them?
We will also be considering, what's the appropriate remedy for members of Congress who ignore a congressional subpoena, as well as the evidence that was so pertinent to our investigation and why we wanted to bring them in. So that will be something we will be considering tomorrow. You know, we have weighed, what is, what is the remedy for members of Congress? Is it a criminal referral to another branch of government, or is it better that the Congress police its own?
Well, censure was something that we have considered. Ethics referrals is something we've considered. And we will be disclosing tomorrow what our decision is.
Watch below or at this link.
\u201c"If that's not criminal, then I don't know what is."\n\nRep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) tells CNN's @jaketapper why the Jan. 6 committee believes former President Donald Trump committed criminal offenses in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU\u201d— CNN (@CNN) 1671374447
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