The last time Stephen Colbert interviewed Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), it was back in March in Washington, D.C. and there wasn’t much he could tell the host about the Russia investigation. Asked if there’s any more he could reveal now, Schiff joked, “Well, I can tell you who ‘Individual-1’ is.”
“There’s a lot more we know today than when we talked before,” he added. “And just when you think about what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, it’s really quite shocking.”
When Schiff was on CBS’ Face the Nation earlier this month, he said he believes “there’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him—that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”
On Tuesday, the Democratic congressman, who is expected to lead the House Intelligence Committee come January, elaborated on that prediction.
“Here’s the thing,” Schiff told the Late Show host. “If the Justice Department takes the position that Michael Cohen should go to jail, that these allegations are so serious that he should go to jail for these campaign fraud allegations, what is the argument against jail for the individual who coordinated and directed that scheme.”
Of course, that individual—also referred to as “Individual-1”—is the president of the United States. And Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for what he described as committing “dirty deeds” for Trump.
As Schiff said, it’s yet to be seen whether or not prosecutors will choose to go down that path. “But all the arguments the Justice Department made about Michael Cohen, that the rich and powerful shouldn’t play by a different set of rules as average people who are out there walking precincts and calling and text-banking and doing legitimate things to try to affect the outcome of an election,” he said. “The rich and powerful shouldn’t play by some other set of rules. That argument applies with equal force to the president of the United States.”
“We expect the Russians to lie,” Schiff said at another point in the interview. “We expect a president of the United States to be telling the truth. And therein lies the problem. For two years, we’ve had this deeply unethical man running the country. And for two years, the Republican congress has done nothing to oversee any of the allegations of malfeasance, and that stops now.”