VIRTUAL EVENT: Bookshop Santa Cruz welcomes California Congressman Adam Schiff and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for an online discussion of Schiff's compelling and important new book, Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.
“Midnight in Washington is a compelling account from a man who refused to allow our venerable institutions to crumble at the hands of authoritarianism. Equally vital, he refused to allow his Republican colleagues to look the other way. Rep. Schiff does not merely provide riveting details from inside the halls of power; he delivers a much-needed warning about the threats facing America from within and an urgent how-to guide for preserving our nation.” —Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight Action
Click here to view the event replay! The featured book is available for purchase below.
From the congressman who led the first impeachment of Donald J. Trump, the vital inside account of American democracy in its darkest hour, and a warning that the forces of autocracy unleashed by Trump remain as potent as ever.
In the years leading up to the election of Donald Trump, Congressman Adam Schiff had already been sounding the alarm over the resurgence of autocracy around the world, and the threat this posed to the United States. But as he led the probe into Donald Trump’s Russia and Ukraine-related abuses of presidential power, Schiff came to the terrible conclusion that the principal threat to American democracy now came from within.
In Midnight in Washington, Schiff argues that the Trump presidency has so weakened our institutions and compromised the Republican Party that the peril will last for years, requiring unprecedented vigilance against the growing and dangerous appeal of authoritarianism. The congressman chronicles step by step just how our democracy was put at such risk, and traces his own path to meeting the crisis—from serious prosecutor, to congressman with an expertise in national security and a reputation for bipartisanship, to liberal lightning rod, scourge of the right, and archenemy of a president. Schiff takes us inside his team of impeachment managers and their desperate defense of the constitution amid the rise of a distinctly American brand of autocracy.
Deepening our understanding of prominent public moments, Schiff reveals the private struggles, the internal conflicts, and the triumphs of courage that came with defending the republic against a lawless president—but also the slow surrender of people that he had worked with and admired to the dangerous immorality of a president engaged in an historic betrayal of his office. Schiff’s fight for democracy is one of the great dramas of our time, told by the man who became the president’s principal antagonist. It is a story that began with Trump but does not end with him, taking us through the disastrous culmination of the presidency and Schiff’s account of January 6, 2021, and how the anti-democratic forces Trump unleashed continue to define his party, making the future of democracy in America more uncertain than ever.
ADAM SCHIFF is the United States Representative for California’s 28th Congressional District. In his role as Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Schiff led the first impeachment of Donald J. Trump. Before he served in Congress, he worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, and as a California State Senator. He and his wife Eve have two children, Alexa and Elijah.
LEON PANETTA co-founded The Panetta Institute for Public Policy with his wife Sylvia in 1997 upon completion of his service as White House chief of staff in the Bill Clinton administration. He co-directed it with her until 2009, when he left to serve as CIA director and then secretary of defense under President Obama. He returned to the Institute as chairman in 2013. A Monterey native and Santa Clara University School of Law graduate, Secretary Panetta represented the Central Coast in Congress for sixteen years.