The Republican Party has turned into “an autocratic cult around Donald Trump” that only cares about “maintenance of their power,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.
On Sunday, Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan asked Schiff about Democrats trying to pass legislation “only on party lines.” “It once again looks to people at home like, they can’t get along, Washington’s not working again,” Brennan said.
Schiff responded that Republicans’ obstructionism on issues ranging from infrastructure to the debt ceiling proves their only loyalty is to Trump and holding onto power.
“We have a Republican Party that is now an autocratic cult around Donald Trump,” Schiff said. “It is not interested in governing. It is not interested in even maintaining the solvency and creditworthiness of the country.”
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He continued, “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. But we need to show that democracy delivers, that it can help people put food on the table, that it can address these huge disparities in income.”
Schiff went on to say how the Republican Party “has made itself an anti-truth, anti-democratic cult of the former president.” And, he said, Republicans’ endorsement of Trump’s election fraud lies (which the former president carried on about at a recent rally) further jeopardize our democracy, referring to an interview of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) from earlier that morning where he refused to say that President Joe Biden won the election.
“Scalise this morning, another Republican leader unable to acknowledge that the election wasn’t stolen,” Schiff said. “It’s these personal capitulations that are putting our country at risk.”
Later in the interview, when Brennan asked about the Select Committee investigating January 6th, Schiff said the committee is ready to refer noncooperative witnesses — for example, Steve Bannon, who is trying to claim executive privilege despite not working for Trump at the time of the attack — to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. The committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said as much in a statement this past week.
The committee, Schiff said, “wants 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.”
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