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April 17, 2023

Rep. Adam Schiff Calls Out Republicans’ Attempt to Obstruct Justice With Sham Judiciary Committee Hearing

New York, NY – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke at the Judiciary Committee “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan” field hearing – a political stunt orchestrated by Republicans in an attempt to obstruct justice and intimidate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for his investigation into former president Donald Trump. In his remarks, Schiff called out the committee’s chairman, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, for trying to interfere with the administration of justice despite having no right or jurisdiction in the case against Trump.

Here is a video of Schiff’s remarks and a full transcript is below.


“Almost three weeks ago, Donald J. Trump was indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan on dozens of counts of fraud in connection with a hush money payment scheme, in which his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, previously went to jail.

Since the former president’s indictment, the Manhattan District Attorney has been the subject of countless death threats and racist diatribes. Others have made ugly appeals to antisemitism, in an effort to attack the proceedings.

And this committee, this committee — has used every means at its disposal to disrupt, interrupt and interfere with the prosecution, demanding documents it has no right obtain, and no jurisdiction to demand, subpoenaing a former deputy district attorney and threatening to subpoena the D.A. himself, and now, holding this hearing in Manhattan in a vain attempt to intimidate or embarrass the prosecutorial authority.

Now the majority denies that this is the purpose of today’s hearing. They would have you believe it is mere coincidence that all of a sudden, and out of the blue, the chairman decided that the state of New York is a wonderful place to do a hearing. Not the chairman’s home state of Ohio, with its high rates of murder. But New York State. And of all the cities in New York, they would pick New York City. and of all the Boroughs in New York, they pick Manhattan. Apparently, Manhattan is just lovely this time of year.

What a remarkable coincidence — we are meant to believe. Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, we just happened to walk into this one.

How absurd. Of course, it is not a coincidence. Instead, it is the GOP leadership in congress doing what it has done best over the last six years, and that is to act as the criminal defense counsel for Donald J. Trump. Well, let me tell you this: Donald Trump doesn’t need the lawyers on this committee to be his criminal defense lawyer — he has plenty of those already.

Nor is that the role of Congress. Quite the opposite.

Our role should be to defend the rule of law, not tear it down. We should be defending the principle that no one is above the law, not attempting to establish a new principle, that if you are politically powerful enough, you get a pass. We should be defending the independence of the grand jury, and the safety of a public servant enforcing the law, not adding to the dangers to both.

The Manhattan District Attorney has the burden of proving Donald Trump guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury of ordinary citizens will have the responsibility of determining whether he has met that burden. That this process will be the same for a former president as it would be for his lawyer, or his driver, or his doorman or his neighbor, is the strength of a democracy, not its weakness.

The first thing Chairman Jordan said today was that this hearing is about the administration of justice. But more accurately, it is about an effort to interfere with the administration of justice. He said that here in Manhattan, the scales of justice are being weighed down by politics, and they are, but only today, and by this committee’s actions in trying to intimidate the Manhattan D.A. for having the audacity to believe that in America, being rich, being powerful, even being president of the United States, does not entitle you to violate the law with impunity.

There was a time in America when both parties used to believe in the rule of law, but sadly those days are over. One of America’s two great political parties believes that political might, makes right, and more than right, it means that you are beyond the reach of the law, and beyond accountability. The more power, the less justice. But this is not democracy. This is the antithesis of democracy.”