Trump’s not going away — and neither is investigator Schiff

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For nearly a year outside the White House, Donald Trump has continued to reduce the attention and influence of the Republican Party as he considers another race for president.

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And still circling Trump is Representative Adam Schiff

Schiff, the chairman of the intelligence committee that has been investigating interference in the Russian election and previously led Trump’s impeachment, says the former president’s continued presence on the national political stage is nothing short of democracy.

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As a key member of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Uprising at the Capitol, the congressman whom Trump ruthlessly mocks with derisive nicknames, is turning his attention to Trump’s role in that deadly riot.

“We want to show the nation how January 6th came to be – and not only in terms of the mechanics of that day, the involvement of white nationalist groups… but how this big lie about our elections inspired thousands of people. To attack his own government,” Schiff said in an interview on C-SPAN’s Book TV, which airs a week from Sunday.

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“What did the President know who was coming to this rally and what did he do when he found out?” Schiff asks. “Why did it last so long? And so there are so many important unanswered questions.”

As the committee intensifies its investigation, it’s a familiar role but also a new chapter for Schiff, the federal prosecutor turned congressman whose life’s work is now largely defined by the man he calls American. Calls it a “clear and present threat” to democracy.

Last winter, Trump was impeached for the second time on charges of inciting a riot. But House prosecutors, like Schiff in the first trial, which focused on election interference involving the Trump campaign and Ukraine, failed to win a sentence in the Senate.

This time, the California Democrat says the select committee hopes to uncover new information about Trump’s involvement on that January day, as he encouraged crowds of his supporters to flock to the Capitol and vote for Joe Biden as his own. Encouraged to “fight like hell” to reverse the electoral defeat. The riots and subsequent deaths included Trump supporter Ashley Babitt, who was shot dead by police, and several officers who later took their own lives after the most serious attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

In a new book, “Midnight in Washington, How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Can,” Schiff wrote his personal, amusing account of the day: preparing to don a gas mask in the House Chamber, being forced into a crowd. They ran away as soon as they arrived.

Republican aides warned him that he needed to stay out of sight because of his recognizable role as a Trump critic. But during the hours that followed, as the House returned the Electoral College votes for Biden, Schiff came to see Republican lawmakers in “suits and ties” as an institutional threat as serious as rioters. who had made their way into the building. trying to reverse the election

The special committee is drilling not only at Trump, but also on potential Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy of California and the president’s other aides in Congress, who uphold the claim that the election was rigged or illegitimate in some way—though every state has has proven its results accurate, and dozens of court challenges have gone nowhere.

Schiff said of his book, “I am trying to express the fragility of our democracy – something we have always taken lightly – but something that has been torn to pieces over the past four years. ”

He expects the committee to give a “definitive report” as did the 9/11 Commission’s comprehensive investigation into the 2001 terrorist attack on America.

Trump scoffed at refusing to participate in the committee. Two prominent GOP lawmakers, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kizinger of Illinois, have been essentially rejected by their party to join the panel and investigate it.

Trump says Democrats are “drunk of power,” and he is urging some of his former staff and administration officials not to comply with summons or other requests for testimony. He is basing that stance on claims of executive privilege, even though he is no longer in office. This week, the panel announced it would vote to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt for defying a subpoena.

“The Radical Left Democrats tried Russia’s witch hunt, they tried fake impeachment, and now they are using Congress once again to persecute their political opponents,” Trump said in a recent statement.

Schiff tweeted this week that the panel is “nothing wrong” and expects Biden’s Justice Department to prosecute criminal contempt cases to force compliance.

The goal, Schiff says, is for the committee’s final product to be “a way to highlight the American people as a historical record, but also as a way to make recommendations on how to move forward as a country, we How do you protect your democracy?

With Trump stomping on his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the weight of another White House run and visiting early-voting states to gather large crowds, Washington waits and waits for its next Thinking about the move.

Schiff acknowledged that he and other Democrats weren’t prepared for Trump’s popularity, and five years on still struggling to mount a compelling counter-argument for Trump to entice voters who left the party.

More immediately, Democrats face the prospect of a House Republican takeover in next fall’s midterm elections, with McCarthy to replace Speaker Nancy…

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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