Adam Schiff blasts Kevin McCarthy over Jan. 6 at Festival of Books panel

California Rep. Adam Schiff spoke candidly to a crowd at USC on Saturday afternoon, criticizing Republican House members for his or her makes an attempt to overturn the 2020 election and singling out Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, not too long ago revealed to have informed colleagues he had needed President Trump to resign, for having “no ethical compass” and partaking of a tradition during which “truth is for losers.”

Schiff spoke with Times opinion columnist Robin Abcarian at Bovard Auditorium on the primary day of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. His memoir, “Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could,” received the Times Book Prize for Current Interest Friday night time.

The revelations of the final two days had been outstanding on Schiff’s thoughts. “We’re learning again what a craven human being [McCarthy] is. We’re learning in these tapes that at the time of that attack … he was privately talking with Republican colleagues about calling on Trump to resign, acknowledging that Trump was responsible for some of that bloody attack.” Yet, he added, “we know from what happened thereafter that he would deny all of this.”

Schiff informed a private story about McCarthy to bolster his level. “I sat next to McCarthy on a cross-country flight and engaged in small talk,” Schiff recalled. Later, McCarthy repeated that personal dialog to a media outlet, however lied, in line with Schiff, concerning the California consultant’s facet of the change. Confronting McCarthy later, Schiff was “apoplectic.”

Schiff stated McCarthy’s response was, “You know how it goes.’ I said, ‘No, Kevin I don’t know how it goes. You just make s– up.’ That is how he operates and in that sense; he was really made for a time like this when, within his party, truth is for losers. You say what you need to say, you do what you need to do to take power and to keep it. Someone with that lack of devotion to the truth or any ethical compass simply cannot ever be allowed in my view to go near the speaker’s office.”

Schiff’s ebook focuses not on Trump’s makes an attempt to invalidate the 2020 election, however on his colleagues. “Donald Trump could not have succeeded in doing any of the damage he did to our country but for the fact he had so many willing enablers in the Congress of the United States,” he stated. “I wanted to ask, ‘How does it happen that people allow themselves to be so badly used?’ A lot of these people were my colleagues, and some of them were people I had admired and respected because I believe that they believed what they were talking about. It turned out that none of that mattered to them.”

Schiff did reward Republicans who opposed the rebel. “I have such great respect for Liz Cheney’s devotion to our democracy. When she called out the big lie, and refused to tell it, it became apparent that she was going to lose her position. But Elise Stefanik put up her hand and said, “I’ll tell the big lie, I’ll tell any lie you need me to, if I can have [Cheney’s] position.’ Tragically, there have been at least 100 Elise Stefaniks and Devin Nuneses for every Adam Kinzinger.”

Schiff additionally expressed disappointment with the tempo of the Justice Department’s investigation of the rebel. He stated he understands Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland’s want to look nonpartisan, however discovered that line of pondering “flawed.”

“I am concerned that you can draw a straight line between the failure to hold Trump accountable for the Russian misconduct leading to Ukraine, and the Ukraine misconduct leading to the insurrection,” he stated. “If there’s still a failure to hold Trump accountable, the risks to the country are tremendous.”

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