In an appearance on CNN, Schiff told host Jen Psaki he agreed with former Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney’s assessment that Trump would refuse to leave office if reelected.
“[Cheney is] absolutely right that Donald Trump will never leave office voluntarily. He just won’t,” Schiff said.
“And if anybody has any doubt about that, they should look at what he tried to do in the last presidential election that he lost. But they should listen to what Donald Trump has to say today. He is making it clear again that when he loses, he will contest it. He will argue that it’s rigged and fraudulent. And he will terminate the Constitution if he’s allowed to,” Schiff said.
“He’s also made it clear that whatever his plan is, to use the military domestically,” he added. “He tried to do that when he was president. And so we need to take his threats seriously because we have seen him act on them. And this is who he is. … I think part of what we are seeing also is his team told him that he is frightening people with all of these anti-democratic talk and plans. And he is never one to back down in any way, so his response is, ‘I’m simply going to accuse them of what I’m doing.'”
Schiff also accused Trump of using the political methods of autocrats throughout history and made a direct comparison between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“There is a real method to Donald Trump’s madness, and it’s not a playbook that he created,” Schiff said.
“It’s one that has been used, I think, by autocrats the world over and for a long time,” he continued. “And that is accuse your opponents of what you do. You know, Donald Trump’s argument is really not that he is not corrupt or that he’s not a liar. Rather, his argument is, ‘Everyone is corrupt, everyone are liars, but I am your crook. I am your liar. You should be with me.'”
The California Democrat then broadened his net to include Republicans in Congress.
“And it’s not just Donald Trump using this playbook; it’s also Republicans in Congress,” he continued. “Donald Trump gets impeached on a legitimate basis twice. So, if they were to impeach Joe Biden illegitimately, why? To dilute the stage, to accuse Biden [of] the same kind of misconduct that Trump committed when there’s absolutely no misconduct in the case.”