Schiff: 'Mistake' if Trump doesn't testify under oath in Russia investigation

Schiff: 'Mistake' if Trump doesn't testify under oath in Russia investigation
© Getty

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that it would be a "mistake" if President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE does not testify under oath as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"I do think ultimately it's a mistake because probably the best way to get the truth would be to put the president under oath because, as he's made plain in the past, he feels it's perfectly fine to lie to the public. After all, he has said, 'It's not like I'm talking before a magistrate.' Well, maybe he should talk before a magistrate," Schiff said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

ADVERTISEMENT

Schiff also said that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, who is also probing potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, shouldn't rely on written answers from Trump.

"When you get written answers from a witness, it's really the lawyers' answers as much as the client's answer. And here you need to be able to ask follow-up questions in real time," Schiff said.

Schiff added, however, that Mueller is operating under the constraint of an attorney general — referring to William Barr — who has "hostility to his investigation" and "would likely oppose" a subpoena of Trump.

"I also think that the special counsel feels some time pressure to conclude his work, and knowing that the White House would drag out a fight over the subpoena, that may be an issue as well," Schiff continued.

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said last year that he was concerned Trump may perjure himself if he were to testify.

"I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury," Giuliani told "Meet the Press” in August.