Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

Nine months after the uprising in the US Capitol on January 6, the rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., That the Capitol is a “different place.”

“I think the relationship we had with ours [GOP] colleagues before the day that was already in full swing reached a real breaking point, ”Schiff, who raised the case of President Donald Trump’s indictment at the first trial in 2020, told NPR’s Michel Martin.

He said even relations with Republican colleagues who had previously been amicable have now been compromised, including with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Even after the January 6 uprising, Schiff thought the country might be turning a corner, but “that shiver of conscience within the GOP lasted about 30 seconds for Kevin McCarthy,” he said.

“Our country needs to know what danger it would be for him ever to set foot anywhere near the President’s office. Someone who has nothing to do with dishonesty and who will do what the former president did. says or wants, can not trust that kind of power, “Schiff said.

Schiff’s new book, Midnight in Washington: How we almost lost our democracy and still could, provides background on what the legislature could have done differently during Trump’s first indictment, the significance of the trial, and how it changed the political landscape in Washington.


Interview highlights

When he lamented that he asked Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to testify about the investigation into the 2016 election

I immediately understood why his staff had been so protective and why they were so reluctant to have him testify. And I immediately said to our members, “We need to cut our questions down. We cannot ask for narrative answers. We need to be very precise in what we ask for. We need to have page references to the report ready.” And it was painful, honestly, it was painful. And if I had known, I would not have pressed for his testimony.

Whether he would change anything about his own performance up to and during the indictment, in which the president was accused of trying to pressure Ukrainian leaders to help Trump’s political agenda

I like the parody [of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president] that I did was unnecessary. Now the president created a whole fictional narrative about it, claiming that I had advanced knowledge of the record from that conversation. But when I think back, would something I did differently have changed the outcome? Of course, it is difficult for me to be objective in this regard. It took a bloody uprising to get even a few Republicans to support accusations. It’s a pretty awfully high bar to have to wait for even a small group of Republicans to respect their constitutional oath.

About how he understands new poll data that shows Trump is seen positively of 53% of Iowa voters

We are a much more tribal, polarized society. The information we receive now is curated to us by algorithms that do not show us something we do not want to see, reinforcing the views we already have. … It allows him and his followers to live in another world. And that is among the most consequential, far-reaching and difficult challenges we face.

At the moments when he thinks the Republican Party started to change, even before Trump

There were a number of canaries in the coal mine, and in fact some of them were even ahead of Trump. When, for example. [Republican leader] Considered an institutionalist, Mitch McConnell, willing to withhold an Obama appointment to the Supreme Court, was willing to essentially make an equal branch of government, the Supreme Court, just a political toy to help him mobilize his base. It was a sign that things were changing. When a North Carolina Democrat in 2016 won the governor’s office and the Republican legislature responded, not by trying to do better next time or changing his backward-looking policy, but depriving that governor of his powers. It told us that something was happening in American body politics.

About what shocked him during the trial against the accused

What shocked me during the trial was the realization as I listened to some of these [GOP] senators that they understood the president was guilty. They admitted he was guilty. They were amazed at the many pieces of evidence. … They only knew what they knew by watching Fox. But even when confronted with this evidence, it was not enough to make them give their oath meaning because it could cost them their jobs or it could cost them a position in the cabinet. And there was nothing they valued quite as much as these things.

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