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Publisher's Summary

Number One New York Times Best Seller

The vital inside account of American democracy in its darkest hour, from the rise of autocracy unleashed by Trump to the January 6 insurrection, and a warning that those forces remain as potent as ever - from the congressman who led the first impeachment of Donald J. Trump

“Engaging and informative...a manual for how to probe and question power, how to hold leaders accountable in a time of diminishing responsibility.” (The Washington Post)

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.

©2021 Adam Schiff (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“When American democracy faced a near-death experience, Adam Schiff served as an able guardian, protecting our nation from enemies foreign and domestic. Schiff not only provides riveting details in this compelling account, 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)  

“Adam Schiff has performed a great public service with this engrossing and illuminating new book. By taking us inside the impeachments of the forty-fifth president, Schiff has written an important first draft of history - history that is not remote or retrospective but all too immediate, for the threats to the republic he so deftly describes remain with us. If you care about American democracy, the rule of law, and the future of our imperiled nation, this is essential reading.” (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House)   

“In this thoughtful, absorbing, and revelatory memoir, an important champion and defender of American democracy shows us how he became a national leader and, from his experiences on the inside, how close the Trump regime brought us to losing our system. Please read Adam Schiff’s book carefully and pay close heed to his warnings about the dangers that remain.” (Michael Beschloss, New York Times best-selling author of Presidents of War: The Epic Story, from 1807 to Modern Times)  

What listeners say about Midnight in Washington

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Not what I expected

I have a really hard time with non-fiction. It isn't that I'm not interested, because I really am. I'm a news and political junkie, I just feel like reading a whole book about it is a slog. Not this one. Although every word is pure fact, it "reads" (I do audio) like a novel. I couldn't stop listening. And it isn't just the content. Adam Schiff narrates his own book so well, it was almost like sitting in a room having a conversation. I've tried many other non-fiction by authors I love and respect (e.g., Rachel Maddow) and fell way short of finishing. This book does, indeed, cover some very familiar territory, but then takes you several steps past what you thought you knew about the goings-on of the previous administration.

Please just assume that I've tacked on another two or three stars on to the maximum five available to me.

38 people found this helpful

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The Truth

I do not have words to express my feelings about this book. As a senior (in age) political geek, I am speechless (and in tears) as I listen to Mr. Schiff's epilogue. His blunt truth on these pages makes me realize I am not alone with my thoughts.

27 people found this helpful

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This book is an American gem that shines!

This book was absolutely wonderful. I couldn't put the book down. I think everyone should read this book.

17 people found this helpful

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A wake up call to save our Republic

This should be required reading in every college. It is well written, clear and factual.

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This book is the best!!

This book is the best book written so far explaining the last 5 years of our history. I enjoyed learning more about "who" Adam Schiff is as well. The book is so well written and read - it's hard to pause.

11 people found this helpful

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I loved it! Start to finish.

Most political books are dry as toast, or long on agenda without enough detail; this was not that. I haven't listen to a book straight though since Diana B's last release, I could not put this down. Mr.Schiff reminds us what happens when good people say nothing. Has renewed my soul hearing there are others that will quietly do the right, moral, and just thing. The counter to "Don't tread on me" is "Here, right matters".

10 people found this helpful

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Anxiety is Back

Schiff has a soothing, pleasant voice and I’m sure listening to Midnight in Washington was a richer experience than just reading the text because of his narration. But, what he says has reawakened my fears about this country’s future.
What the Republican’s have done and are doing is difficult to believe. Perhaps if it were only 5 or six of them but it’s all of them. What are they so afraid of that they would sacrifice this nation’s ideals? It is surely a tragedy that I hate to witnessing.

9 people found this helpful

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We take Democracy for granted at our own peril

A critical history of the Trump presidency with unknown background information by Author Schiff.
Beautifully written and read by the author.

I could listen to him read the dictionary.

9 people found this helpful

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INSIGHTS

This book gave me more insight into our problems here in the US. We need to stop Trump and his followers.

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent book.

Fascinating to hear history making from the perspective of one of the key players who was making it. Excellent book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • SHAZ
  • 10-30-21

Should be required reading for all …..

Excellent, and easy read, telling the true facts of how lies, corruption and power can kill Democracy in the USA and beyond. It’s the last opportunity for Americans to work together to turn the tide of lies and ensure their freedoms ….. if they don’t the unthinkable will happen. Beautifully written.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jason
  • 10-25-21

It's midnight in Washington

A great recap of the madness of the last few years in American politics. Excellent insights into one of the most consequencial periods in recent history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Lockwood
  • 10-18-21

Blow by blow account of the first impeachment

Bringing all the details of the first impeachment together in a clear way. Little new information but very effectively consolidated. Linked forward to the second impeachment with less detail there since Schiff not a manager. But an excellent overall picture of the last year of tfg presidency.

Interesting details of the impeachment process from the inside. I’ve always wondered how committee chairmen get good at procedures and gavel management…turns out they practice🙂.

First part is personal memoir. Readable and mildly interesting in a people mag sorta way. Establishes where his fundamental principles come from. Perhaps a little smug from time to time but generally worthy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-21

Engaging and well-organized

Highly recommend.

Schiff's description of TFG's two impeachments is engaging, propelled forward by the extraordinary facts and events. He also includes his personal feelings and opinions appropriately, telling a bit about himself, his family and friends, his values and hopes for the US. From beginning to end it's well written and a smooth read.

My personal opinion - I wish Schiff didn't second-guess himself for one second, on the time when he reflexively described how TFG's phone call with Zelensky was like a mob boss. That was brilliant and just what the public needed to hear. We all knew the call was horribly wrong, and it felt so good to have it called out for what it was; to be validated instead of left with a vague impression that everyone else had labeled it under, "yeah, it bothered some people but legally, we'll see."

No wonder TFG went through the roof and his followers let loose such a massive outcry. It was simple, effective and spot on and they knew it.

Thank you, Congressman Schiff, for your tireless work and dedication to our country during such exhausting and unprecedented times. We are not out of the woods yet, but I am so relieved that we have hope now, And it would not have been possible without the inspiration provided by so many courageous people, including you, your team, and the amazing people who you brought forward to speak in defense of our country.