Rep. Adam Schiff on Russia investigation

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., joins "This Week" to discuss the latest in the committee's Russia investigation.
7:16 | 10/29/17

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Transcript for Rep. Adam Schiff on Russia investigation
Get to it. Let's bring in congressman Adam Schiff. Good morning. The it your conclusion that the president is not under ind vest gags? I can't comment. I can't answer it one way or the other. You wouldn't know if Robert Mueller is investigating the president? I can't comment on that at all. What is your reaction to the news there may be a sealed indictment? Well, I think two people from press reporting it is likely to be. Either Mike Flynn or Paul manafort. We haven't been informed. I don't think it would be appropriate for Bob muler to tell us. If it is Paul manafort, it may help us answer one very central question in the investigation. That is, we know that the Russian government, through intermediaries, was reaching out to the trump campaign. To Paul manafort and others. Offering information on Hillary Clinton they thought would help the trump campaign. That the campaign was willing and ak cemented that idea. We know from "The Washington post" reporting, contemporaneously to that, Paul manafort is reaching out to Russia. Offering information in exchange for money. Money he felt was ohhed to him for working for a pro-russia party. The fact that these requests are moving in opposite directions, and what information would Mr. Manafort have to offer the Russians? What would the president do on sapgss? That would be the most important information. If it is him, it may help us answer those questions. How about this question of the president's pardon power? And whether or not it would be appropriate for him to issue preemptive pardons before a trial. Well, the arpaio pardon was a horrible precedent. That case wasn't finished. The president sent a message, I won't wait until the criminal cases are over to issue a pardon. I don't think the president's power is all that absolute. The president can't pardon people if it's an effort to obstruct justice. If it's an effort to keep Bob Mueller and others from that. It would have the effect of nullifying vast portions of the constitution. The president could tell people to violate the law. If they did and it was brought up, they were brought up on charges, he would pardon them. One principle of constitutional interpretation is that you don't have one power override all the others. I think we also learned this week that the DNC and the Clinton campaign, through their attorney, helped fund this fusion gps effort to create this dossier, this so-called dossier on whether the trump campaign was cluding with the Russians. We know that the Washington free beacon was paying fusion gps as well. This has now become a subject for congress. Congressional investigations. Along with another investigation back in 2010 in the U.S. Uranium industry. The justice department saying will is collusi there is collusion on both sides. We have known it began as a Republican effort. It was later picked up by the Democrats. So none of that is all that surprising. I think that is a factor to be considered in weighing the credibility of what fusion gps produced. Who was paying for it. Should it have been disclosed earlier? I can't answer that. I certainly would have liked to have known who paid for it earlier. Nonetheless, that's just one factor to be considered. It doesn't answer the ultimate question, how much of the work is accurate if how much of it is true? My colleagues don't seem interested in that question. That is the most important question for the American people. How much of this allegation that -- steel makes the the reports that he hears, are true about the Russian government wanting to help the trump campaign. A lot of that has been corroborated. I wanted to ask that. There are some things in the dossier proven to be untrue. Michael KO Cohen according to his passport wasn't in Prague. What do you believe to be proven? Christopher steel may have found out before our intelligence agencies that the Russians were, in fact, aiming to help Donald Trump in the election. That has been borne out from ample evidence from individual sources and the social media campaign. Very demonstrably pro-trump, anti--clinton. That central conclusion has been borne out. The question we continue to investigate is, was the campaign coordinating in the Russian help? That remains to be seen. There's certainly evidence that is highly suggest I have of that, in terms of the meeting in trump tower. I want to say this on the uranium one situation. If the president weighed in with the justice department to get that investigation going by ordering them to lift the gag rule. The white house said don mcgan did. If members are congress are willing to cover for that or worse, become complicit in that, and that was the word Jeff flake used, in what I think is the most significant speech in congress in the 17 years I have been there. If we allow ourselves to become complicit. By intervening with a gag rule. Interviewing U.S. Attorneys in New York who may oversee potential prosecutions of the president's interests. By picking someone, confirming someone nominated to head the criminal division of the justice department who happens to be the lawyer for alpha bank, we become complicit in that kind of conduct, we'll have to answer to history. It does appear Republicans and Democrats are work at cross purposes. Has the congressional inve gags, in your committee, become a side shoe? It's not a side show. We continue the hard work of getting to the bottom of what happened. We faced serious obstacles. Many of them go back to our chairman. Who, I think, all too often, has been willing to further the work and the viewpoint of the white house. Irrespective of what we're finding in the investigation. That sun helpful. Nonetheless, many of us continue to review the documents, interview the witnesses. It's still my hope that we can come to a common conclusion. But, it has been tough. I won't -- I won't deny that for a minute. Congressman Schiff, thank you for your time this morning. Thanks, George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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