Adam Schiff: Democrats Will Resume the 'Oversight Role' Republicans 'So Completely Abdicated'

Susan Jones | November 7, 2018 | 6:52am EST
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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is the incoming chairman of the House intelligence committee. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), one of President Donald Trump's most outspoken political adversaries, is expected to take control of the House intelligence committee come January, and he promises to do the oversight job that he says Republicans "so completely abdicated."

Schiff spoke to MSNBC late Tuesday night, expressing gratitude that Congress, with a Democrat majority in the House, can now be a co-equal branch of government.

So I feel enormously grateful for all of those that worked so hard. And this is a big responsibility. Look, it's a big vote of confidence by the American people.

And we're going to set a positive agenda going forward on just the issues you were talking about -- making sure that people can afford their health care, that if they have pre-existing conditions, they can keep their health care. That we address the needs of so many Americans who yes, are working, but not earning enough to get by.

But we also intend to make sure that the oversight role that the Republicans so completely abdicated, we once again, the Congress once again undertakes and does so responsibly.

Asked if he will bring back some of the witnesses who already have been interviewed in the Russia investigation, such as Donald Trump Jr., Schiff said he does not have a list of names.

You know, I'm not able to tell you that tonight. We're certainly going to look at the work that we were able to do. We're going to look at the work that the GOP obstructed on our committee, and it was really worse than abdicating the responsibility of the committee. The majority went further, to be complicit in the president's attacks on the independence of the Justice Department, on the men and woman of the FBI on our intelligence community.

So we also need to restore the relationship between our committee and intelligence community and law enforcement. But look, at the time when we formally take control of the House, that won't be until January, and we'll have to see what Bob Mueller has been able to do and what Bob Mueller's been able to say, either via indictment or via report, and that will also guide what we intend to do in our committee.

Schiff said the odds of Mueller being allowed to complete his investigation have improved following the midterm election:

"I think the chances that Bob Mueller will be able to finish his work improved for the reason that our committee and others like the Government Reform Committee and the Judiciary Committee, which under Republican leadership served as basically surrogates for the president in their efforts to batter down the Justice Department, to give the president a pretext to fire people in the Justice Department -- all of that tearing down of the independence of these institutions is going to end.

"Now that doesn't mean that the president can't still act in ways that are antithetical to the rule of law and the interest of justice. But it does mean that we're better able to protect our institutions and see this investigation, I hope, complete."

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