Schiff Taunts Trump Over Phony Executive Privilege Claims

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During a new appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) — who is a member of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot — demolished a lawsuit that former President Donald Trump filed in an effort to keep certain records from that committee. Trump has claimed that he possesses executive privilege that covers the materials, and the lawsuit itself insists that the panel’s request for information “amounts to nothing less than a vexatious, illegal fishing expedition openly endorsed by Biden and designed to unconstitutionally investigate President Trump and his administration.” Schiff’s appearance on MSNBC took place after federal Judge Tanya Chutkan cast doubt on the Trump legal team’s assertions in a hearing on the matter, and he echoed the issues she referenced.

Schiff observed at the outset that he believes the Trump lawyers to be more interested in obstructing the process by dragging it out than in some kind of substantive legal argument that’s grounded in legitimacy. As the Congressman put it:

‘They understand, I think the Trump lawyers understand they’re going to lose this litigation. But their whole goal is to try to draw it out as long as humanly possible.’

During that hearing, Chutkan asked Trump’s legal team if they were “really saying that the President’s notes, talking points, telephone conversations, on January 6 have no relation to the matter on which Congress is considering legislation,” since as she noted, the “January 6 riot happened in the Capitol. That is literally Congress’ house.” Schiff spoke similarly, observing how waiving any executive privilege concerns in relation to an investigation of the attack is a must.

He commented as follows:

‘I think [the judge] could tell that the Trump lawyers were essentially trying to put on a show for the MAGA audience outside the courtroom. And that wasn’t really impressing the judge. She wants to resolve the issues; she wants to do it in an expeditious way. The law is pretty clear here that where the current president finds that the national interest outweighs an assertion of privilege — and the Biden administration has made that finding — that is the dominant determinant. And for good reason: if you’re not going to waive executive privilege in circumstances where the country and its Capitol are attacked, and Congress is looking into that attack and trying to protect itself in the future, then there would almost be no circumstance where a waiver was appropriate.’

Watch Schiff’s remarks below: