News and Commentary

Rep. Adam Schiff Was An Answer On ‘Jeopardy.’ None Of The Contestants Knew Who He Was.
Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, right, and Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, left, listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Schiff will lead a team of seven managers who will present the impeachment case against President Donald Trump in the Senate, Pelosi said. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For those with an eye on politics, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been front and center for months, operating as a primary foil for President Donald Trump among House Democrats. But the House Intelligence Committee chair might have gotten a dose of humility Wednesday night when all three contestants on the game show “Jeopardy!” failed to identify him from a simple photo.

Schiff was the face of the $1,200 clue under the category, “U.S. Representatives,” in the game show’s second round. Under a picture of Schiff — his official Congressional portrait — the question asked: “One-fifty-third of California’s House delegation is this House Intelligence Committee chairman.”

The answer, of course, is “Rep. Adam Schiff.” But not a single one of the three contestants were able to name him.


“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek seemed taken aback — after all, Schiff has dominated headlines and been part of the most critical stories of the Trump Administration, at least in 2018 and 2019, when the Democrats regained control of the House.

Alas, poor Schiff is a relative unknown.

After the clip went viral, several of Schiff’s supporters suggested that the program was taped months ago, well before Schiff became an instrumental part of the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. But, Fox News reports, “Jeopardy!” episodes are taped just three months in advance, meaning that last night’s episode was likely taped just as Schiff was gearing up for days of closed-door testimony in the House impeachment trial, and just as he became a fixture of cable news.

Schiff, of course, may not be unknown for long. Although the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings — and Schiff’s seemingly endless investigations before then — were completed without 24-hour coverage from cable news networks, the Senate isn’t likely to toil in similar obscurity. All eyes will be on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Republicans as they conduct the trial, which will begin as early as next week.

Schiff will be front and center in the Senate, serving as one of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “impeachment managers” charged with the job of presenting the House Intelligence Committee’s evidence against President Trump to sitting senators. Schiff, along with six other Democrats, including House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) will serve as a chief prosecutor, and will have to answer for the evidence his committee found, substantiating allegations that Trump traded hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign aid to the Ukraine for the promise that Ukrainian officials would look into former Vice President Joe Biden’s involvement in an issue relating to his son, Hunter, and oil and gas company, Burisma.

Schiff will likely relish his starring role, though he will also be charged with answering for the holes in the House’s case — holes many keeping a close eye on the impeachment hearings noticed. To correct the “holes,” House Democrats tried to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate until they received a guarantee that they could continue taking testimony, seeking evidence to bolster their case for impeachment, during the Senate trial.

It didn’t work.