With the election just over a month away, Burbank Congressman Adam Schiff and other Democrats are pushing for major legislation to prevent presidential abuses of power -- among other reforms. Congress took similar actions in the Post-Watergate era.

Congressman Adam Schiff joined us to talk about his recent op-ed in the LA Times in which he made a case for reform. 

What You Need To Know

  • Congressman Adam Schiff and other Democrats are pushing for major legislation to prevent presidential abuses of power

  • The reforms will strengthen the guardians of democracy against President Donald Trump and future presidents from either party who seek to abuse power

  • The reforms are built on three pillars and they are built to last

  • The pillars are to prevent abuses of presidential power, to restore the system of checks and balances, and to protect elections from foreign interference

“I think a lot of people voted for Donald Trump because they thought he was going to drain the swamp. In fact, he’s turned that swamp into a cesspool by violating the independence of the Justice Department, firing inspector generals who are trying to clean up the cesspool, retaliating against whistleblowers, and politicizing the justice system. That’s not what people supported him for. That’s why I think people are fleeing from him now,” said Schiff. 

Congressman Schiff mentions three pillars in his op-ed. The first one is about preventing abuses of presidential power.

“This is regarding the abuse of the Justice Department where the president and the attorney general intervened in the cases of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn to protect people who have lied to cover up for the president. It was the president’s use of his office to enrich himself from foreign powers. It was the firing of inspector generals who were exposing wrongdoing, and a whole host of other abuses,” added Schiff.

Second, Congressman Schiff says we must restore our checks and balances systems and ensure accountability and transparency.

“This is one of the most important provisions, and that is, Congress can’t do its oversight if it can’t issue subpoenas and ensure that they’re complied with. The administration has stonewalled all the congressional subpoenas and said basically that 'we don’t view you as a co-equal branch of government, we’re not going to comply.'” 

No administration has ever done that before. This bill would expedite enforcement of congressional subpoenas that go straight to a three-judge panel to the Supreme Court,” said Schiff. 

Thirdly, Congressman Schiff says elections need to be protected from foreign interference. The reforms would require political campaigns to report suspicious foreign contracts or offers of assistance to the FBI.

“I think to an extraordinary degree; the president sets the tone for Congress and the country. I think a president who is affirmably trying to bridge the divide rather than aggravate divisions in the country will go a long way to healing those divisions,” said Schiff.