REP. ADAM SCHIFF: Kellyanne Conway and the president of the United States called this fake news, disputed that these facts were even facts.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS: But Congressman – Congressman …
SCHIFF: We now know from Bob Mueller they were fact.
RADDATZ: You – you went farther than saying ample evidence, you once described to me on this program that the Trump administration’s actions related to the Russian probe are, quote, of a size and scope probably beyond Watergate. What do you say now?
SCHIFF: Well, I think it’s clear from the Mueller report that that’s exactly right. The obstruction of justice in particular in this case is far worse than anything that Richard Nixon did. The — the break-in by the Russians of the Democratic institutions, a foreign adversary far more significant than the plumbers breaking into the Democratic headquarters. So yes, I would say in every way this is more significant than Watergate. And the fact that a candidate for president and now president of the United States would not only not stand up and resist Russian interference in our election but would welcome it goes well beyond anything Nixon did.
The fact that the president of the United States would take Putin’s side over his own intelligence agencies go well beyond anything Richard Nixon did. So yes, I think it is far more serious than Watergate.
RADDATZ: On obstruction of justice, based on the information in the report, do you believe the president did obstruct justice?
SCHIFF: I do believe that he obstructed justice and did so in many ways. And I think that the Mueller report points out how the elements of obstruction are met in several instances, several courses of the president’s conduct. What Bob Mueller said — and this is obviously directly contrary to what Bill Barr represented to the country — is that he felt bound by the office of legal counsel opinion that he could not indict a sitting president. Now Kellyanne Conway points to that as proof of innocence but it’s not. Bob Mueller made it abundantly clear he felt he could not indict the president. The most that he could do was say that the evidence did not exonerate the president.
And I think the reason why he did that is because he could not only not indict the president but I think he also felt that he could not say that the president should be indicted, because that would be effectively the same thing. That would cast the same stigma over the president that the president would be powerless to remove. So I think that’s why Bob Mueller made that non-traditional prosecutorial judgment. He came as close to saying that the evidence of obstruction was evidence of a crime as he could within the Department of Justice regulations. And that’s, I think, the point that he was trying to get across, that he preserved the evidence for when the president was out of office and that he also laid out the evidence so that Congress could understand and undertake its own responsibility.