- Rep. Adam Schiff sounded off on AG Merrick Garland’s approach to former president Donald Trump.
- “There’s a real desire on the part of the attorney general not to look backward,” Schiff told Yahoo News.
- Schiff said that in regards to the 2018 Mueller report and the Jan. 6 riot, Trump is liable.
Rep. Adam Schiff told Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast on Tuesday that he vehemently disagrees with Attorney Garland Merrick Garland’s hesitation to investigate former President Donald Trump.
“I think there’s a real desire on the part of the attorney general, for the most part, not to look backward,” Schiff said on the podcast. “Do I disagree with that? I do disagree with that, and I disagree with it most vehemently when it comes to what I consider even more serious offenses.”
Schiff was asked about Garland’s reticence to revive or pursue new investigations that focused on the former president, including the 2018 report by former special counsel Robert Mueller which concluded that, “if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.”
In 2018, Mueller’s team did not charge President Donald Trump or anyone on his campaign with coordinating with the Russian government, although prosecutors said the campaign “expected it would benefit” from Kremlin interference.
In the second part of Mueller’s investigation, his team investigated whether Trump obstructed justice in the Russia probe, and Mueller declined to make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on whether to charge Trump with obstruction of justice, citing a 1973 Justice Department memo saying that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.
“In my view, you don’t ignore the crimes that have been committed by a president of the United States. They need to be investigated. You may reach the judgment once you’ve investigated something that the public interest in not prosecuting a former president outweighs the interests of justice. But I don’t think you could ignore the crimes.” he added, calling the 2018 report, “a factual basis to charge the president with multiple crimes of obstruction.”‘
Schiff also turned to Garland’s response to the failed, Trump-led nationwide efforts to overturn election results, and touched on the challenges facing the January 6 committee.
“For example, a taped conversation of Donald J. Trump on the phone with Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state from Georgia, trying to coerce him into fraudulently finding 11,780 votes. Because I think if you or I did that, we’d be under indictment by now,” Schiff said.
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