Below is the transcript of an interview with Adam Schiff, a Democratic Representative from California, that was broadcast on Face the Nation Sunday, June 5, 2022.
MARGARET BRENAN: We are now going to California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff. He joins us now from Los Angeles. Good morning, Mr. Chairman.
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN - You have many hats. But I would like to ask about the January 6 committee you are a member of. As you all know, the Justice Department decided on Friday not to pursue Mark Meadows, former chief of staff, or Dan Scavino social media director for refusing cooperation with your committee. That was puzzling, we know. Do you believe that these men are exempt from any prosecution?
REP. SCHIFF: No, they're not. It is quite puzzling that these witnesses would be treated differently from the Justice Department's two prosecution witnesses. There is no absolute immunity. These witnesses have very pertinent testimony to offer regarding the events of January 6th, the propagation and acceptance of the big lie and the possibility that witnesses might simply not show up. It is extremely troubling that the Justice Department doesn't present these cases to the grand jury as required by statute. Although we hope to gain more information from the Justice Department it is a grave disappointment and could hinder our work if other witnesses believe they can refuse to appear with impunity.
MARGARET BRENAN: Could it be that these men were so close to President Trump? Do you think the executive privilege argument is applicable here?
REP.SCHIFF: This shouldn't be an explanation because there are many things these witnesses can testify to without any even plausible claim for executive privilege. Both were involved in campaign matters. Both have copies of documents they could share. They both have documents that they could offer.
MARGARET BRENNAN. The New York Times reported, CBS confirmed that Marc Short, Mike Pence's chief staff, had warned Secret Service agents and the lead agent protecting Vice President Mike Pence the day before Jan 6. He said that he believed the president would attack the vice president and it would be a security risk. We are aware that Mr. Short intends to testify before your committee. Does that suffice? Is it enough?
REP.SCHIFF: Margaret. We aren't commenting on specific witnesses so we can't confirm and deny who will be appearing before us. One of the themes we will be exploring is the- the understanding that, prior to the 6th, there was a propensity for violence, and of the involvement of white nationalist group members. This knowledge was used to determine whether the continuation of this big lie to rile the country up and rile the president's base would lead to violence. This theme will be one of the themes that will be presented during these hearings. However, I cannot comment on the testimony of a specific witness.
REP.SCHIFF: We want to tell the story of what happened in the country, how we got so close to losing democracy, and what caused the attack on the 6th. The American people know a lot already, I believe. They have seen many bombshells. They haven't seen a lot. Perhaps the most important thing is that the public has not seen the whole story. They don't know how each line of effort to reverse the election led into another. This ultimately led to the worst violence in human history. We want to tell this complete story, and we are aiming at audiences and people who have an open mind about the facts. We are trying to stop the spread of big lies. That's our goal.
MARGARET BRENNAN : I have a question about inflation. It is a serious problem in the country. According to the San Francisco Fed, the American Rescue Plan contributed approximately three percentage points towards inflation. It is not the main driver of inflation, but it is a contributor. Do you think Democrats should have structured the $2 trillion package differently in hindsight? Could it have been smaller
REP.SCHIFF: I don't believe so. There have been studies that found it had a smaller impact on inflation than the other studies. The cause is what I believe.
MARGARET BRENAN: --It is a non-political organization, you know that.
REP.SCHIFF: I get that. However, studies showing that it had negligible effects on inflation are very credible. The reality, which I believe is supported by all evidence, was that there was global inflationary pressure and a problem with supply chains. In fact, our economy grew so quickly in the United States that this problem is especially acute. Because the demand for jobs was so high after the pandemic and we grew so many jobs, this created a gap between the demand and the supply that led to inflation. It is a problem that many people are experiencing. It must be tackled in all possible ways. Unfortunately, I believe the Republicans are getting in the way of us because they would prefer to have the inflation issue, then do something about it to help our country. This is exactly what Congress is facing and what the Administration is fighting against.
MARGARET BRENNAN : The administration seems to be taking some foreign policy decisions keeping inflation in mind. The president is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia in the summer, as we know. He'll also meet the royal family, possibly Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince who U.S. Intelligence claimed issued the order to kill or capture a US-based writer, Jamal Khashoggi. This is what you stated in February 2021.
REP. SCHIFF ON MSNBC - FEBRUARY 2021: He should be shunned. He should be, but I don't believe the president should speak with him. I do not believe the President should visit him.
MARGARET BRENAN: Should President Trump still travel to Saudi Arabia to meet the Crown Prince?
REP.SCHIFF: I think no. I would not go. I would not shake his hand. This man murdered an American citizen, tore him apart in pieces, and did it with a premeditated and terrible motive. And until Saudi Arabia does something drastic in terms of human rights I won't be able to have anything to do. I am well aware of the extent to which Saudi Arabia has control over oil prices. That's why I believe it's important that we reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We should also be able to access oil more globally so we don’t have despots or murderers making the decisions. I would not go, and if I had to travel to the country for any other reason, I wouldn’t meet with Crown Prince. I believe he should be exiled.
REP.SCHIFF: I think we should do everything possible to lower-lower oil prices. However, going hand-in–hand with someone who has murdered an American resident would be a mistake. And I'd like to see Saudi Arabia lower their oil prices or increase their production. I would like to see them improve their human rights record. They should hold those responsible for that murder and the torture of others detainees. Before I extend this kind of dignity to Saudi Arabia's leadership, I would like to see them do so.
MARGARET BRENAN: Thank you, Chairman Schiff. We will be right back.