Jun 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Schiff: "Credible evidence" to indict Trump

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally
Former President Trump speaks at a rally on May 28 in Casper, Wyo. Photo: Chet Strange/Getty Images

Members of the House Jan. 6 committee said on Sunday shows that they have gathered evidence to support a Justice Department indictment of former President Trump over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Why it matters: It would be the first time in American history that a former president is indicted on criminal charges.

  • The committee's public hearings, which began last week, are intended to lay out the case that Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, starting with knowingly spreading lies around the election, seeking to overturn the results, assembling the mob in the Capitol and failing to act to stop the violence.

What they're saying: "I would like to see the Justice Department investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

  • “There are certain actions, parts of these different lines of effort to overturn the election, that I don’t see evidence the Justice Department is investigating.”
  • “Once the evidence is accumulated by the Justice Department, it needs to make a decision about whether it can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the president’s guilt or anyone else’s. But they need to be investigated if there’s credible evidence, which I think there is," he added.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Trump "absolutely knew" his false claims that the election had been stolen were lies because he was surrounded by lawyers, including former Attorney General Bill Barr, who told him so in "no uncertain terms."

  • "Our entire investigation is a referral of crimes both to the Department of Justice and to the American people because this is a massive assault on our — on the machinery of American democracy," he said.

Worth noting: While Raskin said he would not "browbeat" Attorney General Merrick Garland over whether he should indict Trump, he noted that the committee has already laid out in legal pleadings the various criminal statutes they believe Trump violated.

  • “I think that he knows, his staff knows, the U.S. attorneys know, what’s at stake here,” Raskin said, referring to Garland.

Editor's note: The headline and lead on this article have been corrected with the exact Schiff quote.

Go deeper