Schiff Emerges from the Woodwork Hours After Trump Returns to Make Big Criminal Referral Statement


Democrats are racing to consider bringing a criminal referral against former President Donald Trump before Republicans take over the House of Representatives in January.

Prior to this month’s midterm elections, Republicans made it clear that if they were to get control of the House, they would bring an end to the select committee investigating Trump in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion.

In June, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is likely to become the next speaker of the House, called the panel of seven Democrats and two fiercely anti-Trump Republicans “the most political and least legitimate committee in American history.”

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With the GOP retaking the House in the midterm elections and Trump announcing Tuesday that he is running for president again in 2024, one member of the committee indicated action might come soon.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California said Sunday morning on ABC News’ “This Week” that the panel is working toward bringing a criminal referral against Trump.

Host Jonathan Karl brought up the Biden administration’s announcement Friday that it was appointing a special counsel to investigate the former president. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Jack Smith would look into “whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021.”

“What does it mean about the Jan. 6 committee’s deliberations about a criminal referral?” Karl asked. “Will you be making a criminal referral or referrals?”

Will a criminal referral against Trump be submitted?

“We’re in the midst of reaching a conclusion on that right now, should we make referrals, what kind of referrals should we make,” Schiff said.

“I don’t want to get ahead of that decision. But I can say that I think Judge Carter in California, who analyzed just one small piece of this, concluded that the former president and others were engaged, or there was evidence they were engaged, in a criminal conspiracy, evidence they were engaged in an effort to stop an official proceeding, the joint session,” he said.

In March, U.S. District Judge David Carter of the Central District of California said in a ruling in a civil case that it was “more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021. “

“I think the evidence is there to make a referral, and we just have to decide whether that’s the course we are going to take,” Schiff said.

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Earlier in the interview, Karl asked the congressman about Trump’s Twitter account being reinstated by the social media platform’s new owner, billionaire Elon Musk, which happened just hours before Schiff’s appearance.

“I want to begin with the news overnight that Donald Trump has been reinstated by Elon Musk on Twitter. Watching the Jan. 6 committee hearings, Trump’s tweets were a big part of the story to be told. What do you think of him being back on Twitter?” Karl asked.

Schiff replied that he thought it was “a terrible mistake.”

“As we showed in the Jan. 6 hearings, the president used that platform to incite that attack on the Capitol. His comments about the vice president, his own vice president, put Mike Pence’s life in danger,” the Democrat said.

Tweets from Trump on the day of the Capitol incursion — available once again following his account’s reinstatement — paint a different picture. They show he urged the crowd to be peaceful and avoid violence.

Schiff further claimed that Trump “showed no remorse” about his actions.

“He continues to lie about his actions on that day,” the congressman said. “He talks about pardoning the people who attacked police officers and attacked the Capitol that day. And it contradicts what Elon Musk said, that he was going to establish a council to evaluate this, and further contradicts Musk and his claimed concern about bots on his own platform to subject the decision to a poll on the platform that could be easily abused that way.”

Musk asked users in a poll Friday whether Trump should be reinstated.

The poll, which received more than 15 million votes, found that about 52 percent wanted the former president reinstated and 48 percent were opposed to the move.

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