Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is slated to take the gavel as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in January, and he has a lot to say about President Donald Trump’s ongoing legal woes.
With his already growing national profile expected to balloon even larger with his new oversight powers, Schiff appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday night.
“For two years we’ve had this deeply unethical man running the country,” Schiff told Colbert. “And for two years the Republican Congress has done nothing to oversee any of the allegations of malfeasance — and that stops now.”
Watch the video below, via CBS:
Colbert prodded Schiff to explain how his committee plans to go further to investigate Trump more than the committee did under the guidance of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
“One of the most basic rules of doing an investigation is you follow the money,” Schiff explained. “We were not allowed to follow the money.”
The congressman claimed that the limited scope of the investigation under Nunes’ leadership impeded Congress’ ability to look into the planned Trump Tower Moscow project or allegations that the Russians used the Trump organization to launder money.
“If the Russians were — and we don’t know that they were — but if they were, it would be very powerful leverage they might have over the president of the United States that might explain his often otherwise inexplicable fondness for Putin and Russia,” Schiff said.
But perhaps Schiff’s most consequential comments came on the topic of the recent sentencing of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen is facing three years in prison for crimes related to so-called “hush money” payments to silence the stories of alleged extramarital affairs Trump had in the past.
Watch the video below:
On #LSSC tonight: Congressman Adam Schiff explores the possibility of President Trump serving jail time.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) December 19, 2018
“Here’s the thing,” Schiff said. “If the Department of Justice takes the position that Michael Cohen should go to jail, that these allegations are so serious he should go to jail for these campaign fraud allegations, what is the argument against jail for the individual who coordinated and directed that scheme?”
The Congressman hedged his comment on the requirement that the Department of Justice would be able to prove Trump’s role in the illicit scheme.
“That argument applies with equal force to the president of the United States,” Schiff said in reference to the DOJ’s argument in Cohen’s case that no one is above the law.