Transcript: Rep. Adam Schiff on “Face the Nation,” January 17, 2021

The following is a transcript of an interview with California Congressman Adam Schiff that aired Sunday, January 17, 2021, on “Face the Nation.”MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the chairman of your house Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. Great morning to you, Mr. Chairman.REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Good morning.MARGARET BRENNAN: There is a very visible security existence on the streets here in the countrys capital today. What is your understanding of the risk level in the days ahead?REP. SCHIFF: Well, its really high. And youre definitely right. It reminds me of visiting Baghdad, going to the Green Zone. And seeing so much military presence and barricades, I never thought I would see that in our own capital or that it would be essential. There is a profound risk from domestic violent extremists of the nature we saw on January 6th. There are people concerning the Washington, D.C. location. They are bringing weapons. And we see threats to capitals all over the country, all 50 state Capitols. Now, I believe the inauguration will proceed and it will proceed safely, but there will be gatherings of individuals and those events could turn violent. Theres a very high level of risk.MARGARET BRENNAN: Capitol Hill Police confirmed this week that they are investigating whether members of Congress provided unauthorized or un- unsanctioned trips that might have provided reconnaissance support to those who then attacked the Capitol days later. There are advocates of QAnon amongst elected and sitting lawmakers. Do you have any sense of whether there was support- that fellow members assisted the attacks?REP. SCHIFF: I do not understand the response to that, MARGARET. Undoubtedly, its deeply important that we discover out which if there are members of Congress that are complicit beyond the- the complicity of challenging the election and propagating the presidents lies, but more particularly associated with assisting individuals do reconnaissance, they need to be held liable in- in the strongest way that we can. Together with my fellow chairs, we are beginning an examination into what failed, into the intelligence failures. And I think theres a massive intelligence and security failure here that requires to be totally examined. We hope to get responses to these questions.MARGARET BRENNAN: What about your fellow lawmakers who sit on the committees that manage the Capitol Hill Police? Do they bear some obligation as well?REP. SCHIFF: Well, theyll be doing their own investigation too. The specific lane Im focused on is the intelligence. What did we understand before the attack of the- the likelihood of violence against the Capitol that day? Was that intelligence shared? If it was, why wasnt it utilized? However were likewise going to be examining the- the Capitol Police and its structure and its management and what changes need to be made there. And Ive every self-confidence that Zoe Lofgren in your home administration committee will carry out those obligations, in addition to Bennie Thompson and Homeland Security and other committees.MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you seen any evidence of foreign support, financial or otherwise, for any of these domestic companies associated with the siege?REP. SCHIFF: Well, we are going to try to follow the cash. Thats a crucial part of any examination. I understand Carolyn Maloney has taken a specific interest because problem, which is who was funding this? Who was supporting this? Just how much were they included in what eventually occurred on January 6th? Following the cash is an important part of our investigative plan, that is the Congress broadly, and any examination into a disaster this substantial.MARGARET BRENNAN: In your role on the committee, you have some oversight of the intelligence neighborhood. Take legal action against Gordon, who I understand you know, one of the countrys top intelligence professionals for years, wrote an op-ed yesterday in which she said President Trump is a security threat himself. And when he leaves office, he should be rejected access to intelligence instructions. Would you urge the Biden administration to do that?REP. SCHIFF: Absolutely. Theres no circumstance in which this president need to get another intelligence instruction, not now, not in the future. I dont believe he can be trusted with it now and in the future, he certainly cant be trusted. There were, I believe, any number of intelligence partners of ours around the world who most likely began withholding info from us because they didnt trust the president would- would secure that info and secure their sources and methods. And that makes us less safe. Weve seen this president politicize intelligence, and thats another danger to the country.MARGARET BRENNAN: With just a couple of days to go, the Trump administration is supposedly setting up a GOP operative at the National Security Agency, which manages, as you know, some cyber and signals intelligence. Do you have any sign what the intent is there?REP. SCHIFF: I believe its very clear this becomes part of the administrations effort to embed individuals in the civil servants who are political and partisan actors who do not belong there. In this case, Michael Ellis was pointed out in one of the posts of impeachment. He was associated with the midnight run. He was associated with putting that Ukraine call record in a secure computer system where it didnt come from attempt to conceal– MARGARET BRENNAN: Youre discussing the first impeachment?REP. SCHIFF:– that evidence. Yes. Theres no way that someone like Michael Ellis need to be validated or designated or employed for a career civil service position, particularly if there were– MARGARET BRENNAN: OK.REP. SCHIFF:– other applicants, which there were, that were more highly rated.MARGARET BRENNAN: Very quickly, when will the speaker of your home send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for this impeachment?REP. SCHIFF: Well, thatll be the speakers decision. You know, Ill leave the technique to her and to Jamie Raskin, and an incredibly gifted team. This is, you understand, clearly the most serious crime against our nation and Constitution of any president in history.MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.REP. SCHIFF: And the truth that it occurred in the last month doesnt make it any less severe. There requires to be complete accountability. And I hope and hope that the Senate will promote their responsibility and their oath when that case is tried.MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you for your time this early morning.

“MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff. Great morning to you, Mr. Chairman.REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Good morning.MARGARET BRENNAN: There is a really noticeable security existence on the streets here in the countrys capital right now. SCHIFF: I dont understand the response to that, MARGARET. SCHIFF: I believe its really clear this is part of the administrations effort to embed individuals in the civil servants who are political and partisan actors who do not belong there. SCHIFF:– other applicants, which there were, that were more highly rated.MARGARET BRENNAN: Very rapidly, when will the speaker of the House send out the short articles of impeachment to the Senate for this impeachment?REP.

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