Rep. Adam Schiff said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that House Democrats could use impeachment proceedings as a "tool" to beat the Trump administration's "maximum obstructionism campaign against Congress."
"It provides an additional tool," Schiff said. "We have been gradually escalating the tactics we need to use to get information for the American people."
"If the only way that we can do our oversight is through an impeachment proceeding then maybe we have to go down that road," he added. "But I think it'll be important to show the American people this was a decision made reluctantly. [That] this is a decision forced upon us rather than something we were eager to embrace."
MARGARET BRENNAN: Speaker Pelosi has previously said that for her the standard for impeachment requires a bipartisan level of support for it. We saw yesterday the very first Republican, Justin Amash, who is a libertarian, he is no fan of the President, but still a Republican. He suggested that the President has carried out impeachable behavior. Does this meet the Democratic standard, now, to consider and move forward with an impeachment inquiry?
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: Well, I think that what the Speaker has referred to and I have as well is can an impeachment even be potentially successful in the Senate? We see no signs of that yet. And, you know, I respect what Justin Amash is doing and has said. He showed more courage than any other Republican in the House or Senate. But what may be pushing us in the direction of impeachment in any event has less to do with Justin Amash and more to do with the fact that the administration is engaging in a maximum obstructionism campaign against Congress.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You do think there is more of a movement towards impeachment?
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: I think that we are seeing more members that recognize that the administration is acting in a lawless fashion, essentially, having obstructed justice, is now obstructing Congress and our lawful function. And if we conclude that there's no other way to do our jobs, no other way to do the oversight, no other way to show the American people what this President has done, his-- his unethical and illegal acts as outlined in the Mueller Report, then we may get there.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You're-- what-- what you're suggesting just to clarify, is that by opening up an inquiry into impeachment or proceedings into impeachment, it would allow you to get the information you've-- and evidence you've been asking for?
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: It may--
MARGARET BRENNAN: That it provides a tool even if it fails?
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SCHIFF: It-- it-- it does, it provides an additional tool. And what we have been doing is we have been gradually escalating the-- the tactics we need to use to get information for the American people. So we began by asking for voluntary cooperation and that was not forthcoming. We followed with subpoenas, we followed with contempt, we may follow with inherent contempt, and we may have to follow with impeachment. There may be an odd confluence of interest here between the Trump administration and people around the President who want him impeached because they think it's politically advantageous. And an increasing number of Democrats and maybe Republicans who feel this President's conduct is so incompatible with office, incompatible with our system of checks and balances that if the only way that we can do our oversight is through an impeachment proceeding then maybe we have to go down that road. But I think it will be important to show the American people this was a decision made reluctantly. This is a decision forced upon us rather than something we were eager to embrace.