Rep. Adam Schiff, Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s This Week that having special counsel Robert Mueller testify on his findings was of paramount importance.
“The American people have a right to hear what the man who did the investigation has to say and we now know we certainly can’t rely on the attorney general who misrepresented his conclusions,” Schiff said. “So he is going to testify.” He also justified potential contempt charges against Trump officials. “We’re are going have to use that device if necessary, we’re going to have to use the power of the purse if necessary,” he said. “We’re going to have to enforce our ability to do oversight.”
Schiff also defended the fines Democrats are considering levying against Trump administration officials who refuse to cooperate with House committees’ investigations to enforce contempt actions. “I think if you fine someone $25,000 a day […] until they comply, it gets their attention.” About the refusal to cooperate, he said that “here, the Trump administration has decided to say a blanket no; no to any kind of oversight whatsoever, no witnesses, no documents, no nothing, claiming executive privilege over things that it knows there is no basis for.”
Democrats had set a target date of May 15 for Mueller’s testimony, but acknowledged last week that he was unlikely to appear this week because of the refusals from Attorney General William Barr and Trump. So when he will be testifying is unclear, but his appearance is inevitable, says Schiff.