Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff likened to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as a “insurrectionist in a suit and tie” on Tuesday, accusing McCarthy of having “absolutely no reverence for the truth.”
Schiff, a California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and sits on the select committee investigating the January 6 insurgency, told CNN’s John Berman that what “angered me the most” about the US Capitol attack were the “insurrectionists in suits and ties, who were still on the House floor trying to overturn the election, even after the bloody insurgency, even after all the shattered glass and death of that day.”
He also accused Republicans in Congress of being “deathly afraid of crossing” former President Donald Trump.
Following the security of the US Capitol following the rioting on January 6, Congress reconvened to officially confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the Election College vote, although a majority of House Republicans decided to protest to the results for Arizona and Pennsylvania. McCarthy was one of the House Republicans who voted to reject the results of the two states.
The Republican leader originally chastised Trump’s handling of the January 6 insurgency, claiming that Trump “bears responsibility” for the assault and “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” McCarthy, on the other hand, visited with the former Republican president shortly after at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, and has since joined many members of his conference in attempting to move on from the January 6 insurrection and downplaying the assault.
The committee investigating the Capitol disturbance has considering summoning McCarthy to testify about his January 6 phone conversation with Trump. The committee has already issued subpoenas to four former Trump aides in the hopes of hearing their testimony.
On Tuesday, Schiff said that the committee is trying to obtain their testimony while also “make it very clear that those who don’t cooperate with our committee are going to be the subject of criminal contempt.”
When asked about the timetable for the criminal referrals, Schiff said, “It will come very fast if people refuse to cooperate, have no basis for their refusal, it will come very fast. I think that’s all I can say.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) alleged Tuesday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) lied to reporters about their discussions and refused to explain himself when challenged.
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The California Democrat said his Republican counterpart’s ability to lie without guilt was part of a larger problem besetting U.S. democracy since Donald Trump entered politics, and he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the House investigation into the Jan. 6 insurgency was intended to root out that threat.
“On this select committee, we are of one mind. Anyone who does not comply [with subpoenas] we will refer for criminal prosecution, and there needs to be accountability,” Schiff said. “It really is essential for us to bring our democracy back from the brink, that we once again have our rules applied equally to everyone.”
“One of the things that terrifies me about the upcoming midterms is we need to make sure that the party in power believes in the rule of law,” he added. “One of the stories I tell about Kevin McCarthy is, I was sitting next to him on a plane having a private conversation and then him going to the press and telling the press the exact opposite of our conversation, and when I confronted him on the House floor about this and said, ‘Kevin, you know I said the exact opposite of what you told the press,’ his answer was to me, ‘Yeah, I know, Adam, but you know how it goes.'”
According to Schiff, moral corruption emanates from the previous president and has infected a large portion of the Republican Party.
“We cannot have a leadership in Congress that has no commitment to the truth, that shares Donald Trump’s willingness to falsify and lie about everything and so this, too, is what puts us in peril,” he said. “I think of all the damage that Donald Trump did to our democracy, the most corrosive was this relentless attack on the truth.”