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Schiff Says He Would Have To ‘Consider The Validity’ if He Is Subpoenaed By Republicans

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Democrats pushed to have Steve Bannon prosecuted for not complying with a Congressional subpoena, but now it is Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff who is not willing to guarantee that he would comply if Republicans subpoena him.

He appeared on the CNN show “State of the Union” on Sunday when host Dana Bash mentioned the topic of Congressional investigations.

“The incoming oversight chair, James Comer, told Punchbowl News in an interview, ‘I don’t believe congressional investigations have a whole lot of credibility now. I blame Adam Schiff for that, but it’s also both parties to blame for investigations in the past. I want to change that.’ What’s your response?” she said.

“Comer doesn’t believe in the Russia investigation, in the Ukraine investigation, he doesn’t believe in the investigation of January 6th. Why? Because those are investigations of the serial abuse of power by Donald Trump. Comer and Jordan and McCarthy will do nothing but carry Donald Trump’s water. Someone who is sitting down for dinner with anti-semites, who is sitting down for dinner with bigots who won’t condemn them. This is who they’re making common cause with. They will do and say what they need to do,” the representative said.

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“We’re out of time but I have to ask. If you are subpoenaed by Republicans when they take over, will you comply?” the host said.

“We’ll have to consider the validity of the subpoena. I would certainly view my obligation, the administration’s obligation to follow the law and the fact that they have disrespected the law is not a precedent I would hope that would be broadly followed. We’ll have to look at the legitimacy or lack of legitimacy of what they do,” he said.

Again, he is a member of a Party that pushed for Bannon to be prosecuted and who has said that from President Donald Trump should be held accountable for not complying with their subpoena.

In October, a report showed that California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff was positioning himself as heir to Pelosi’s speakership if she had chosen to retire after Republicans won back the House.

The Washington Post reported that Schiff’s efforts were “focused on consolidating support among his home base” in California, but that he “has not made an explicit ask for endorsements.” Instead, the Post says Schiff “is gauging members’ interest and planting the seed that leading the caucus is his goal.”

The outlet said that Schiff had reached out to progressive and minority-led congressional groups but that the response to some of that outreach was “tepid.”

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Other Democrats reportedly gunning to lead the House Democratic Caucus if Pelosi steps back include Democrat Reps. Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, and Hakeem Jeffries.

A report from Vanity Fair detailed how “House Democrats don’t know how their top leadership ranks will shake out after the midterms. But there is a real appetite for generational change.”

Nobody can say for sure, but there’s an expectation among aides on Capitol Hill that if Democrats lose control of the House—as “is the most likely scenario,” per one Democratic aide—Nancy Pelosi will step down. There are the all-important caveats (“Anyone who tells you that they know what Speaker Pelosi is going to do—unless it is Speaker Pelosi—is lying to you,” another aide tells me), but as the November midterms inch closer, and the prospect of being in the minority grows, the jockeying to succeed one of the most storied Democratic leadership teams has begun in full force.

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The drama isn’t only around Pelosi’s next steps, however. Between the 82-year-old Speaker, House majority leader Steny Hoyer, 83, and House majority whip Jim Clyburn, 82—Pelosi’s number two and three—Democrats’ top leadership team combined has more than a century of experience in the House. Democratic lawmakers aren’t just eyeing who would replace their top leader; there’s an appetite for a completely new generation to lead the party that could rankle some of Democrats’ most senior members.

The outlet added:

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In 2018, Pelosi agreed to a term limit for her speakership. But her office has routinely and repeatedly dismissed questions about her plans or possible succession; Pelosi’s office has said the Speaker is too focused on the midterms to be concerned about her title. “The Speaker is not on a shift. She’s on a mission,” Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told Vanity Fair. Notably, Clyburn and Hoyer haven’t publicly stated their plans. Hoyer “is proud to have the support of his colleagues and the American people and looks forward to building on this strong record by strengthening our majority and furthering efforts to ensure workers and families have the tools they need to Make It in America,” Margaret Mulkerrin, Hoyer’s communications director, said when contacted for this article. (Clyburn’s office did not respond to a request for comment). If Hoyer or Clyburn make a play for the top job, or even if they make a bid to stay in their current roles, things could get messy quickly. For now, the mystery has led to a monthslong quiet race among some of the party’s budding stars—based entirely on hypotheticals.

“I’m waiting and watching,” Pennsylvania congresswoman Madeleine Dean said when asked about a changing of the guard within the party. “I’m certain there will be, at some point, a lot of change. You see already in the pipeline tremendous talent from folks who are leading us now at different levels,” she said, in reference to the Democrats’ bench and the possibility of a new generation of leadership at the table.

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