Schiff Blasts GOP For Becoming ‘An Autocratic Cult Around’ Trump

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 21: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the news conference introducing the Protecting Our Democracy Act in the Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, I... UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 21: Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the news conference introducing the Protecting Our Democracy Act in the Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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October 10, 2021 5:22 p.m.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and serves on the panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, on Sunday criticized the Republican Party by characterizing it as “an autocratic cult around Donald Trump” that is “not interested in governing.”

“It is not interested in even maintaining the solvency and creditworthiness of the country,” Schiff said, during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And we have to recognize that they’re not interested in governing, and so we’re going to govern, we’re going to have to do it and [if] we have to do it with our own votes we will do that.”

Schiff went on acknowledge the possibility of another Capitol attack before taking aim at Republicans who embrace the Big Lie of a stolen election, citing Sen. Chuck Grassley‘s (R-IA) appearance at a rally where former President Trump announced his endorsement for the longtime senator’s eighth term as well as House Minority Whip Steve Scalise‘s (R-LA) repeated refusal to say whether the 2020 election was “stolen” during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” (Grassley initially condemned Trump earlier this year amid the former president’s refusal to concede.)

“We saw Grassley in Iowa yesterday, unable to condemn the President’s effort to get the Justice Department to overturn the election,” Schiff said. “Scalise this morning, another Republican leader unable to acknowledge that the election wasn’t stolen. It’s these personal capitulations that are putting our country at risk.”

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Schiff also applauded the Biden administration for rejecting Trump’s attempt to shield Jan. 6 documents from Congress, declining to assert executive privilege on his behalf.

“We should, I think, get those documents soon because the sitting president has the primary say in executive privilege,” Schiff said. “We also want to make sure that these witnesses come in and testify, and we are prepared to go forward and urge the Justice Department to criminally prosecute anyone who does not do their lawful duty.”

Last week, the Jan. 6 committee threatened referring uncooperative witnesses for criminal contempt of Congress after Steve Bannon’s lawyer told the panel that his client will defy its subpoena. Bannon’s defiance occurred after Trump asked advisers to invoke executive immunity in an effort to avoid handing over documents or giving testimony.

“While Mr. Meadows and Mr. Patel are, so far, engaging with the Select Committee, Mr. Bannon has indicated that he will try to hide behind vague references to privileges of the former President,” Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in a statement.

Watch Schiff’s remarks below:

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