Schiff: 'There Are a Number of Tools That We Could Use' to Compel Testimony from Trump, McCarthy

Susan Jones | July 26, 2021 | 9:38am EDT
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  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led the Democrat effort to push to the Trump-Russia hoax. (Photo by YARA NARDI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) led the Democrat effort to push to the Trump-Russia hoax. (Photo by YARA NARDI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

( - The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold its first hearing tomorrow (Tuesday), with testimony from some of the police officers who were caught unprepared as a crowd of Trump supporters mobbed the building where lawmakers had gathered to certify the 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a dedicated foe of former President Donald Trump and a member of the select committee, said tomorrow's hearing is intended to show the public "the violence of that day."

It may also be intended to further malign former President Donald Trump and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy ahead of the 2022 midterm election.

CNN's John Berman asked Schiff on Monday how the committee might go about getting Trump and McCarthy to testify:

“There are a number of tools that we could use,” Schiff said:

It could mean that we have to go through an enforcement process. And...we were hampered in that the last four years because the Justice Department was hostile to the mission. You know, Bill Barr was at times implicated in what we were investigating and so was not going to enforce contempt against witnesses who were recalcitrant. That hopefully has changed, but you know, time will tell.

But we're going to do everything we can. We'll use the tools that we have. Those that refuse to testify, you know, the public will likely draw an adverse inference that their testimony would be incriminating. But we hope to get as much of this evidence in the public realm as we possibly can.

Berman asked Schiff if he meant that the Justice Department would enforce contempt measures to compel testimony if witnesses such as Trump and McCarthy refuse to testify:

"Well there are a lot of steps you would take before you ever got to that," Schiff said.

You know, first you ask for their voluntary testimony, and then you subpoena them to come in. And then you continue to escalate the steps necessary to compel their appearance.

We tried enforcing the courts. And as you've seen, that can take years, as it did with Don McGahn. But there's another route, if the courts are unavailing or if there's an attempt to delay and protract the matter through the courts, where you can hold someone in contempt and seek enforcement through the Justice Department.

Now, I hope none of that's necessary, and we're obviously getting way ahead of ourselves. But there are a number of tools that we could use and, of course, we'll explore what we need to, to get the public answers.

Berman asked Schiff, "Have you or anyone had any conversations with the Justice Department about this issue?"

"No, I have not," Schiff said. "And you know, let's hope that nothing like that is necessary."

As for the first hearing tomorrow, Schiff said he hopes the police officers' testimony "will be powerful enough to rebut this revisionist history that you hear from some of our colleagues that claim this was a normal tourist day and try to downplay the significance of what happened -- the most serious attack on our Capitol in hundreds of years."

The public can expect to see new video on Tuesday as the committee tries to show "what it was like to be on the front lines that day."

"Well, hopefully we'll have the opportunity to show the public a video that these officers lived, that they experienced, so they can understand what it was like to be facing off against that massive crowd, some of which came wearing battle gear. They were beaten with flag poles. They were beaten with fire extinguishers. They were sprayed with bear spray -- just the torment they went through, how much they felt in fear of their lives.

"But they were determined to do their duty. What heroes they were, how they returned to work within hours of that attack even though what they should have done is seek medical attention. So I know I've been extraordinarily impressed, and I'm quite sure the public will be as well."


Also see:
Pelosi Names a Second Republican Anti-Trumper to Her 'Bipartisan' Select Committee on Jan. 6 Attack


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