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CBS anchor takes wind from sails of Adam Schiff with three simple questions about January 6 committee DOJ referrals

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Image source: YouTube screenshot

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) boasted on Sunday that the Jan 6. committee was meeting later in the day to discuss criminal referrals for individuals whom the committee has investigated.

But CBS anchor Margaret Brennan, moderator of CBS' "Face the Nation," took the wind out of Schiff's sails with three simple questions.

What did Brennan ask?

After Brennan noted the committee is targeting, among others, former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Mark Meadows, she asked whether sending criminal referrals to the Justice Department would result in anything meaningful.

"Would doing that be anything more than symbolic?" she asked.

After defending the committee's actions, Schiff said they are making calculated decisions to ensure they do not undermine their narrative about Jan. 6.

"Are we going to create some suggestion by referring some that, others, there wasn't sufficient evidence, when we don't know, for example, what evidence is in the possession of the Justice Department?" he responded. "So, if we do make referrals, we want to be very careful about how we do them.

"But I think we're all certainly in agreement that there is evidence of criminality here," he added. "And we want to make sure that the Justice Department is aware of that."

Schiff says Jan. 6 committee's probe "far out ahead" of Justice Departmentwww.youtube.com

The response did not convince Brennan that referrals from Jan. 6 are meaningful.

"But don't we already know that?" she said, referring to the Justice Department's own investigation into Jan. 6.

The question suggests the outcome of the Jan. 6 committee is essentially meaningless because the nation's top investigative body, which can criminally prosecute any American, is already investigating.

"So, what does the committee sending a referral do, other than look political?" Brennan followed up.

The questions caught Schiff off guard.

"We have been far out ahead, in most respects, of the Justice Department in conducting our investigation," Schiff defended.

"I think they have made use of the evidence that we have presented in open hearings," he added without evidence. "I think they'll make use of the evidence that we present in our report to further their investigations."

What do others think?

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, however, agreed with Brennan.

"It’s largely symbolic because at the time we first started having this debate about a referral, it wasn’t clear how far along the Justice Department was," he explained on NBC News. "Since then, the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel, as we mentioned, and they had a lot of staff they’ve added to the matter."

Moreover, Bharara predicted that any criminal referral from the committee will not move the needle for the DOJ.

"I actually don't think it does anything for the Justice Department," he said. "I don't think it prompts them to do anything more quickly or more aggressively."

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