Transcript: Rep. Adam Schiff on

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The next is a transcript of an interview with Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California that aired Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: Becoming a member of me now could be the chair of the Home Intelligence Committee. It is Congressman Adam Schiff, who additionally serves on that choose committee investigating the January 6 assault. It is good to have you ever right here in individual. 

REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Thanks. Nice to be with you. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Chairman Schiff, Vladimir Putin stated on Friday that it was the FSB Russian intelligence and the CIA that had contact to barter this prisoner swap of Brittney Griner for Viktor Bout. The arms supplier. What did you consider this commerce? And why did Vladimir Putin need Bout so badly?

REP. SCHIFF: Nicely, I am thrilled that Brittney Griner is residence. I believe each time an American hostage is launched it is trigger for celebration. Nevertheless it’s exhausting to different Individuals. Paul Whelan and Mark Fogel stay held in Russia. And everytime you commerce an harmless American for a responsible Russian, it is an incentive to different despots to basically seize an American and use them as a bargaining chip. So it’s- it is exhausting. And I am so impressed with the- each the Whelan and Fogel households for his or her gratitude that one American is free. However we have to proceed working. I do know the Biden Administration is, to launch these others. By way of Putin, he will get an arms supplier again, he additionally is aware of that he can simply roil the American physique politic by choosing one to ship again to america and leaving others in custody in Russia. He is aware of simply what that may stir in america of America. So that is calculated on his half. However look, you realize, for Russian residents watching this, I do not suppose they’re significantly thrilled to get an arms supplier again and what they’re most involved about proper now could be they’re getting used for cannon fodder in Ukraine. So, that is a- an effort to only roil America. And that is– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nicely that is what he is doing. 

REP. SCHIFF:–and that is precisely what he will get out of that. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: It certainly- it definitely picked up quite a lot of political blowback, however Vladimir Putin additionally did say extra swaps are attainable, which, in fact, raises hope for Paul Whelan. However as you simply stated, you imagine this commerce does incentivize hostage-taking. It places the next worth on the top of your common American, and positively an American superstar, as Brittney Griner was. 

REP. SCHIFF: I believe all Individuals have to appreciate that each time they go to a spot like Russia, or Iran or North Korea, that they stand the possibility of being grabbed for no cause in any respect, besides for use as a- as a political chip. And it must make all of us suppose lengthy and exhausting earlier than going to those locations. These are despotic regimes which have no- no view of the sanctity of human life or human rights, and they’ll do no matter they should do, and the Biden Administration is transferring ahead to attempt to sanction these which might be concerned in this sort of hostage taking. However that solely goes thus far in the most effective of circumstances.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Secretary Blinken stated he was working with about 60 Totally different nations to attempt to type some form of Alliance right here. However each time you get a prisoner swap, it form of works towards that.

REP. SCHIFF: It does. I imply, because of this they’re exhausting. And you realize, I believe for a few of my colleagues in Congress, it is simple for us within the low cost seats to say, I might have gotten a greater deal, I might have gotten all of them out. However until you are sitting the place President Biden is, and you realize precisely, you realize, what the state of the negotiations are, you actually can’t- you possibly can’t declare that this wasn’t applicable. That is the duty that comes whenever you occupy the Oval Workplace.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We additionally heard from Vladimir Putin, that he stated it was President Biden’s thought for the top of the intelligence service to fulfill with CIA Director Invoice Burns as they did a number of weeks in the past. Do you suppose that contact ought to proceed at that degree? And what’s it that you simply suppose the intelligence neighborhood must be most targeted on as we heard Putin once more, twice prior to now week saber rattle in relation to nuclear program,

REP. SCHIFF: I believe there are circumstances during which it’s priceless to have our head of intel meet with their head of intel, even when the Russians are at conflict in Ukraine, and we’re strongly again in Ukraine. There is a lengthy historical past of this- of those sort of non-public communications to maintain the traces open, to guarantee that we do not get right into a direct taking pictures conflict with Russia, that we do not get into some sort of a nuclear confrontation. We’re fortunate to have Invoice Burns, who’s a profession diplomat who occurs to be the top of the CIA, now interact in these sorts of discussions. So, I do suppose that may be very priceless.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you suppose the danger of direct battle is rising?

REP. SCHIFF: I believe it’s rising. I believe it’s manageable, and I believe the administration has carried out a exceptional job in managing that and never letting it get out of hand. However you see, Putin continued to rattle the nuclear saber which is extraordinarily harmful. It- it may possibly’t deter us although, from giving our full and full help to Ukraine. They’re combating valiantly and democracy itself, I believe is the- the price of the battle. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: I wish to ask you about democracy right here at residence. As we talked about, you’re on that January 6 committee and I perceive you have got a gathering right this moment. Chairman Thompson had stated at 1pm, there’s going to be a form of report handed from one group to the primary committee about felony referrals. Reportedly on that checklist, former President Trump, former Chief of Workers Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman. Is there a consensus on whether or not to ship a referral for felony prosecution to the Justice Division, and would doing that be something greater than symbolic?

REP. SCHIFF: You understand, I believe we’re in frequent settlement about what our strategy must be. I am not prepared or licensed at this level to inform you what that’s. We’re as a subcommittee, a number of of us that had been charged with making the advice about referrals, going to be making that suggestion to full committee right this moment. We will probably be releasing a report, I believe across the twenty first, that may embody no matter choice we have made on referrals. What I can inform you concerning the course of is we’re taking a look at what’s the quantum of proof that we’ve towards people? What’s the affect of creating a referral? Are we going to create some suggestion by referring some, that others there wasn’t enough proof, once we do not know, for instance, what proof is within the place of the Justice Division? So, if we do make referrals, we wish to be very cautious about how we do them. However I believe we’re all definitely in settlement that there’s proof of criminality right here and we wish to guarantee that the Justice Division is conscious of that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However do not we already know that? I imply, there’s the Justice Division investigation, particular counsel trying into the previous president. We all know the DOJ has been trying into Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani. So what does the committee sending a referral do apart from look political?

REP. SCHIFF: Nicely, look, we’ve been far out forward in most respects of the Justice Division and conducting our investigation. I believe they’ve made use of the proof that we’ve introduced in open hearings. I believe they’re going to make use of the proof that we choose to current in our report back to additional their investigations. And I believe it makes an vital assertion, not a political one, however an announcement concerning the proof of an assault on the establishments of our democracy and the peaceable switch of energy, that Congress analyzing an assault on itself is keen to report criminality. So I believe it is an vital choice in its personal proper if we go ahead with it and one which the division to not give due consideration to

MARGARET BRENNAN: Chairman Schiff, thanks to your time right this moment. 

REP. SCHIFF: Thanks.

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