Politics

Would You Like To See Donald Trump Criminally Prosecuted, Would That Be Good For The Country?- Adam Schiff Answer Critical Questions Live

RADDATZ Martha: Would you like to see former President Trump criminally prosecuted? Would that be good for the country?

SCHIFF: I would like to see the Justice Department investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump or anyone else. The rule of law needs to apply equally to everyone, and there are certain actions, parts of these different lines of effort to overturn the election that I don’t see evidence the Justice Department is investigating.

And, of course, we have now a federal judge saying that he believes based on the limited set of evidence that he has seen which is far smaller than the body that we’ve accumulated that the president and others may have committed multiple federal crimes. So that should be investigated.

Then, ultimately, once the evidence is accumulated by the Justice Department, it needs to make a decision about whether it can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the president’s guilt or anyone else’s. But they need to be investigated if there’s credible evidence which I think there is.

RADDATZ: Chairman Bennie Thompson said the committee will directly link those two extremist groups, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, to those in Trump’s orbit, that witnesses will describe actual conversations between them.

How close to Trump? How strong do you see that particular evidence?

SCHIFF: You know, this has been, of course, a clear focus of our investigative efforts, that is, the president’s connection to the violence of that day.

And we’ll be presenting what we found. I don’t want to predetermine or prejudge the strength of what we will show you. We’ll show you what we’ve been able to determine.

And we will also talk about the questions that remain unanswered. But I think when you look at the whole — the course of the plot to overturn the election, the president’s knowledge that the big lie that he was articulating was, in fact, a big lie, his willing to — willingness to continue to use that big lie to pressure state legislators, to pressure the vice president, and ultimately to incite that mob tells you a lot about the president’s responsibility.

And perhaps most powerful is the fact that while this attack was going on, he did nothing to stop it, to tell people to leave and to protect the vice president or members of condition or our democracy itself and the president’s inaction —

RADDATZ: Let me ask you again — let me ask you again: is there an actual conversation between people in Trump’s orbit and Proud Boys, Oath Keepers?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, as I think the committee’s already disclosed and has been publicly reported, of course, there are connections between these white nationalist groups and some in Trump’s orbit.

Again, I don’t want to get into specifics of the evidence. You’ll just have to wait until we get to that point of our hearings. But I think what’s — what’s important again is the broad context of all of this. The knowledge prior to January 6th, that there were going to be violent white nationalist groups assembling along with others on that Mall, and the decision by the president nonetheless to incite that mob and do nothing while that attack was taking place.

You know, that dereliction of duty, I think, is a — is as powerful as the president’s actions, his inactions on that day.

RADDATZ: Republican Vice Chair Cheney said the committee’s investigation found that multiple House Republicans sought pardons from the Trump White House for trying to overturn the election, including Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. A spokesperson for Perry called the allegation a soulless lie.

Do you have proof?

SCHIFF: We will show the evidence that we have that members of Congress were seeking pardons. To me, I think that is some of the most compelling evidence of a consciousness of guilt. Why would members do that if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate? So we’ll present the evidence that we have, as the vice chair outlined, along with the evidence of other actions that were taken by members of the Congress.

But, again, I don’t want to get too far ahead of the committee. And we’ll be presenting that in the days and weeks to come.

RADDATZ: And, Congressman, just quickly, if you will, as Jon pointed out, Cheney also said that rioters chanted “hang Mike Pence.” She said Trump responded with this sentiment: “Maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence deserves that.” Is that an actual quote or just sentiment? And who said it? Why didn’t you reveal that?

SCHIFF: You know, we will, I think, be demonstrating the proof behind that comment. Everything that the chair and vice chair said during our hearing was, you know, well-documented and analyzed and dotted every I and crossed every T in vetting what our committee would say. So we’ll be presenting the evidence of that. And at this point we’re not prepared to say who or when. But, you know, tragically as those events were going on and the president was watching from the safety of the White House, his aides were trying to implore him to do something, and others outside the White House were calling and texting White House staff and Mark Meadows to try to get them to do something to disperse the crowd, to tell them to go home. And, of course, it fell on deaf ears as the president watched this.

And, you know, that’s perfectly tragically consistent with Donald Trump’s character, which is, he doesn’t care about anything but himself and so people who are attacking the Capitol on his behalf, well, you know, they were for him and that’s all that seemed to matter to Donald Trump.

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