Schiff: ‘Mistake’ Not to Subpoena President Trump

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Cohen pleaded guilty to eight felony counts last year and will begin a three-year prison term in May.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee pointed to the case of Michael Cohen, the president's former personal lawyer, in which the government described how "Individual 1" directed and coordinated a campaign fraud scheme.

'It's very hard to make the argument that the person who was directed and was coordinated should go to jail, but the person who did the directing and did the coordinating should not. The probe isn't included in the White House or Justice Department's general budget because the Special Counsel's Office is financed by the U.S. Treasury under special regulations issued by the Justice Department.

Current Justice Department orthodoxy is that a sitting president can not be indicted, but Schiff believes this needs to be reevaluated. "There may be grounds for removal from office or there may be grounds for indictment after he leaves office that the Congress discovers". "After all, he has said, 'It's not like I'm talking before a magistrate.' Well, maybe he should talk before a magistrate".

'In its absence an impeachment becomes a partisan exercise doomed to failure, ' Schiff said.

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"And should it be the end of the - you think it should be the end of the conversation about impeachment", MSNBC's Kaise Hunt asked. The representative argued that even if special counsel Robert Mueller's final report does not reveal crimes that could lead to Trump's impeachment, Congress could find other potentially damning details about the president and his businesses.

Speaking to MSNBC, Schiff, who chairs the committee and represents California, answered questions about the next steps for those investigating President Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation. He vowed to obtain phone records of Donald Trump Jr. because Democrats suspected they might entangle the elder Trump, but that did not prove to be so.

'We have already seen deeply concerning evidence of the president's lack of fitness for office. I will certainly recommend that we bring Bob Mueller in to testify, that we take it to court if necessary.

Ultimately, the length of Schiff's investigation could depend on the Mueller investigation, and whether the Justice Department releases the underlying evidence that the Mueller team has gathered.

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