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Politics: Trump's not going away — and neither is investigator Schiff

Transcript: Adam Schiff on "Face the Nation"

  Transcript: Adam Schiff on The following is a transcript of an interview with Congressman Adam Schiff that aired Sunday, October 10, 2021, on "Face the Nation."MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to California Democrat Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he is also on the panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. And the author of a new book, Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could. We'll get into all of that shortly. But Congressman, I want to start on the economy. You just heard the public doesn't really know what's in this massive spending bill Democrats are trying to muscle through along party lines.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly a year out of the White House, Donald Trump continues to circle the Republican Party, commanding attention and influence as he ponders another run for the presidency.

FILE - In this July 27, 2021, file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions witnesses during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff, who rose to national prominence leading the first President Donald Trump impeachment and probing Russian election interference, sees nothing less that democracy at stake with the former president's his continued presence on the national political stage. (AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this July 27, 2021, file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions witnesses during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff, who rose to national prominence leading the first President Donald Trump impeachment and probing Russian election interference, sees nothing less that democracy at stake with the former president's his continued presence on the national political stage. (AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)

And still circling Trump is Rep. Adam Schiff.

Schiff vows Biden DOJ will be asked to prosecute Capitol riot committee subpoena resisters

  Schiff vows Biden DOJ will be asked to prosecute Capitol riot committee subpoena resisters The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will vote to hold anyone who defies its subpoenas in criminal contempt, a leading member said Tuesday. © Provided by Washington Examiner Rep. Adam Schiff put Attorney General Merrick Garland in the hot seat as he made the clearest threat yet to allies of former President Donald Trump that the Democratic-led panel will seek action from the Justice Department if they don't cooperate. "If witnesses do not show up, we will hold them in criminal contempt.

Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman who rose to national prominence probing Russian election interference and leading the first Trump impeachment, says there's nothing less than democracy at stake with the former president's continued presence on the national political stage.

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

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the Intelligence Committee Chairman who rose to national prominence leading the first Trump impeachment and probing Russian election interference sees nothing less that democracy at stake with the former president's his continued presence on the national political stage. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the Intelligence Committee Chairman who rose to national prominence leading the first Trump impeachment and probing Russian election interference sees nothing less that democracy at stake with the former president's his continued presence on the national political stage. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“We want to show the country just how Jan. 6 came about -- and not just the mechanics of that day, in terms of the participation of the white nationalist groups ... but rather how this big falsehood about our elections propelled thousands of people to attack their own government,” Schiff says in an interview on C-SPAN's Book TV, airing a week from Sunday.

January 6 committee unified in pushing for charges for those who defy subpoenas

  January 6 committee unified in pushing for charges for those who defy subpoenas As the committee investigating January 6 enters a key week of subpoena and deposition deadlines, committee members were unified on Tuesday in stating that criminal contempt should be the next step for anyone who defies their subpoena. And soon. © Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) gives an opening statement during the first public hearings held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump, with witnesses top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William B.

“What did the president know about who was coming to this rally and what did he do when he found out?" Schiff asks. "Why did it go on so long? And so there are a lot of important unanswered questions.”

As the committee ramps up its inquiry, it's a familiar role but also a new chapter for Schiff, the federal prosecutor turned congressman whose life's work is now defined in large part by the man he calls a “clear and present danger” to U.S. democracy.

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

This time, the California Democrat says the select committee expects to uncover fresh information about Trump’s involvement that January day, as he encouraged the mob of his supporters to head to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to reverse his electoral defeat to Joe Biden. Deaths in the riot and its aftermath included Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by police, and several officers who later took their own lives after the most serious attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

Adam Schiff Says Kevin McCarthy Becoming House Speaker Is Essentially Giving Trump the Job

  Adam Schiff Says Kevin McCarthy Becoming House Speaker Is Essentially Giving Trump the Job The California congressman has called the former president a "clear and present danger" to democracy.His comments, made during an upcoming interview on C-SPAN's Book TV, come as next fall's midterm elections are still more than a year away. But, House Republicans are already beginning to position McCarthy to replace Pelosi if they can flip the House in their favor.

FILE - In this July 27, 2021, file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., arrive for the first hearing of the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff, who rose to national prominence leading the first President Donald Trump impeachment and probing Russian election interference, sees nothing less that democracy at stake with the former president's his continued presence on the national political stage. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this July 27, 2021, file photo, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., arrive for the first hearing of the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff, who rose to national prominence leading the first President Donald Trump impeachment and probing Russian election interference, sees nothing less that democracy at stake with the former president's his continued presence on the national political stage. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In a new book with a weighty title, "Midnight in Washington, How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could,” Schiff writes his personal, gripping account of that day: Preparing to don a gas mask in the House chamber, being forced to flee as the mob approached.

Republican colleagues warned him 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 to tally Electoral College votes for Biden, Schiff came to see Republican lawmakers, in “suits and ties,” as an institutional threat as serious as the rioters who bludgeoned their way into the building in an effort to overturn the election.

Schiff reveals assurance from FBI director under Trump

  Schiff reveals assurance from FBI director under Trump Then-FBI Director Christopher Wray assured House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff he would resign before being pressured into "something that wasn't right" under former President Donald Trump, the congressman claims in a new book. © Provided by Washington Examiner The conversation happened during one of their early meetings, according to Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could, Schiff's book released last week.

The special committee is drilling down not just on Trump, but also potentially Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California and the president’s other allies in Congress who perpetuate the claim that the election was somehow rigged or illegitimate — though every state has certified its results as accurate, and dozens of court challenges have gone nowhere.

“I’m trying to convey the fragility of our democracy -- something that we always took for granted -- but something that in the last four years has been dismantled piece by piece by piece,” Schiff said about his book.

He expects the committee to deliver “the definitive report,” much as the 9/11 commission produced a comprehensive examination of the 2001 terror attack on the U.S.

Trump scoffs at the committee, refusing to participate. Two prominent GOP lawmakers, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois have essentially been disowned by their party for joining the panel and its probe.

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

Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention'

  Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said holding ex-Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon in criminal contempt would be "a way of getting people's attention," as the select committee probing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol works to ramp up its investigation of the deadly riots."If the Justice Department prosecutes Steve Bannon, other witnesses will see they will face real consequences, including jail time and potentially stiff fines. That is a way of getting people's attention," Schiff told host Jim Acosta during an interview on "CNN Newsroom.

“The Radical Left Democrats tried the RUSSIA Witch Hunt, they tried the fake impeachments, and now they are trying once again to use Congress to persecute their political opponents,” Trump said in a recent statement.

Schiff tweeted this week the panel is "not messing around’ and expects Biden's Department of Justice to prosecute the criminal contempt cases to force compliance.

The goal, Schiff says, is for the committee's end product to be a “historic record as a way of exposing to the American people what went into that tragedy, but also as a way of forming recommendations about how do we move forward as a country, how do we protect our democracy.”

With Trump ensconced at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, weighing another White House run and visiting the early voting states to rally big crowds, Washington is waiting and wondering about his next move.

Schiff acknowledges that he and other Democrats were ill prepared for Trump's popularity, and still five years on struggle to mount a compelling counter-argument to woo back voters who left the party for Trump.

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

“If Kevin McCarthy were ever to become speaker, essentially Donald Trump would be speaker,” Schiff warns.

He and Democratic colleagues have assembled a package of post-Watergate style legislation aimed at shoring up the nation’s civic infrastructure and tightening ethics rules for the post-Trump era. But faced with Republican opposition, it is unlikely to pass the Senate.

Schiff positions America's experience alongside a broader "global struggle going on right now between autocracy and democracy. People around the world used to look to us as a beacon. Now they see people climbing on the outside of our Capitol, beating police officers,” he said.

“So many of the things that we thought could never happen in this country have already happened.”

2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts .
Read CNN's 2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts for information about probes into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential race.Here's a look at investigations into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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