An unabashed Trump critic, Schiff argued that if the DOJ intends to move forward with charges, it should have already done so and demurred when asked about concerns over the viability of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s rumored case against Trump.
“I do share the concern that the Justice Department should have moved on this case — if they are going to move on it — a long time ago,” he told CNN. “You have other prosecutions now that are going forward first, but I certainly think that the Justice Department should have pursued this with far more urgency.”
Special counsel Jack Smith was appointed to spearhead the DOJ’s investigations revolving around Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and the Mar-a-Lago classified document scandal. Trump has denied wrongdoing and decried the inquiry as a witch hunt.
Since the DOJ began targeting Jan. 6 rioters, over 992 people have been charged, according to an Associated Press tracker. Schiff commended the DOJ for its actions surrounding the inquiry over Trump’s handling of classified documents but called for more urgency on Trump’s machinations with the 2020 election.
“It appears, at least, vis a vis the Mar-a-Lago case, there is that urgency now. I’ve never seen a briefing schedule where you’re asked to brief up until midnight,” he said. “But on the most serious charges, not Mar-a-Lago, either of the most serious charges around Jan. 6, there the Justice Department should have moved, in my view, a long time before now.”
Smith was a member of the now-dissolved Jan. 6 committee and led the first impeachment trial against Trump. He has long criticized what he has dubbed the “slow” pace of the DOJ’s sweeping investigations of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Speculation reached a fever pitch this week that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would lodge an indictment against Trump over an alleged $130,000 hush money payment wired to porn star Stormy Daniels during the tail end of the 2016 election cycle. However, so far, charges have not been brought forth.
Trump has raged against the myriad investigations against him, including from Smith and Bragg, and called for top officials on those inquiries to be “removed immediately.”