Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) appeared Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan to discuss the release of Robert Mueller’s court filings against Michael Cohen and the implications for President Trump.
Schiff, who is no fan of Trump’s, said that he may “face the real prospect of jail time” after prosecutors indicated last week that he directed illegal payments during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time,” Schiff said.
Schiff’s comments come after federal prosecutors said in a legal filing Friday that referred to Trump as “Individual-1” that Trump during the 2016 campaign directed his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to make illegal payments to two women claiming they had affairs with Trump. It was the first time prosecutors made those accusations against Trump, The Hill reported.
.@AdamSchiff on the Russia Investigation: My takeaway is there's a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office the justice department may indict him. That he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time. pic.twitter.com/3kfwumFkh7
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) December 9, 2018
While the Democrats and the mainstream media are thrilled with Cohen implicating President Trump, the truth is that Mueller had to threaten Cohen with virtual life in prison before he came up with a charge that would be sustainable for impeachment, or in this case indictment when President Trump leaves office.
Schiff, who is likely to be the next chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, added that the next president may have to determine whether to pardon Trump.
“We have been discussing the issue of pardons the president may offer to people or dangle in front of people,” Schiff said. “The bigger pardon question may come down the road, as the next president has to determine whether to pardon Donald Trump.”
“I think the prosecutors in New York make a powerful case against that idea,” he added. “All the arguments they make against Michael Cohen … that argument was equally made with respect to Individual-1, the president of the United States.”
Host Margaret Brennan asked Schiff if a defense by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani — that former North Carolina Democratic Sen. John Edwards’ campaign finance case set precedent against charging someone like Trump — holds any weight.
Schiff said the case involving Edwards, then a 2008 presidential candidate, had a reported “problem with proof” that doesn’t exist as strongly as with Trump.
He said the fact that Trump may have “coordinated an illegal campaign scheme that may have had an election-altering impact is breathtaking.”
Here is the full interview.
Schiff followed up after the interview, explaining his position and reasoning:
There's a very real prospect that on the day Trump leaves office Justice may choose to indict him, and he will face possible jail time.
If DOJ believes Cohen should go to jail for campaign crimes, shouldn’t the same apply to the man who coordinated and directed that same scheme? https://t.co/oshVSomQQy
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) December 9, 2018