Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the January 6 House Select Committee issuing a criminal referral for former President Donald Trump and others was not a political statement.
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about democracy here at home. As we mentioned, you are on that January 6 committee and I understand you have a meeting today. Chairman Thompson had said at 1pm, there’s going to be a sort of report passed from one group to the main committee about criminal referrals. Reportedly on that list, former President Trump, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman. Is there a consensus on whether to send a referral for criminal prosecution to the Justice Department, and would doing that be anything more than symbolic?
SCHIFF: You know, I think we are in common agreement about what our approach should be. I’m not ready or authorized at this point to tell you what that is. We are as a subcommittee, several of us that were charged with making the recommendation about referrals, going to be making that recommendation to full committee today. We will be releasing a report, I think around the 21st, that will include whatever decision we’ve made on referrals. What I can tell you about the process is we’re looking at what is the quantum of evidence that we have against individuals? What is the impact of making a referral? Are we going to create some suggestion by referring some, that others there wasn’t sufficient evidence, when we don’t know, for example, what evidence is in the position of the Justice Department? So, if we do make referrals, we want to be very careful about how we do them. But I think we’re all certainly in agreement that there is evidence of criminality here and we want to make sure that the Justice Department is aware of that.
BRENNAN: But don’t we already know that? I mean, there is the Justice Department investigation, special counsel looking into the former president. We know the DOJ has been looking into Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani. So what does the committee sending a referral do other than look political?
SCHIFF: Well, look, we have been far out ahead in most respects of the Justice Department and conducting our investigation. I think they have made use of the evidence that we have presented in open hearings. I think they’ll make use of the evidence that we prefer to present in our report to further their investigations. And I think it makes an important statement, not a political one, but a statement about the evidence of an attack on the institutions of our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power, that Congress examining an attack on itself is willing to report criminality. So I think it’s an important decision in its own right if we go forward with it.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN