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Publisher's Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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.

70 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.

51 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.

32 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.

29 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 Republicans 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 witness.

27 people found this helpful

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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.

24 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".

19 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.

19 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.

19 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.

15 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.

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  • Ms. L. Chalkley
  • 02-06-22

Powerful, inspiring, heart-rending

I expected to be interested, even fascinated by details of US politics that Mr Schiff would be able to provide. I didn't expect to be moved to tears so much or that I'd think that I'd be inspired to wonder what I can do to keep democracy alive in my English town.

I really glad he read his work. I'm going to go back to look at more impeachment material. His sense of drawing out important detail and communicating it (along with his sheer astounding work loads) makes for a gripping read. I'm still trying to get my head around the roller skating and horse riding.

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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
  • 04-13-22

Amazing

Amazing book that highlighted the lengths that were gone to by the republicans. A lot of the facts were news to me which shows how effective the campaign was

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  • Mum, London SW19
  • 04-08-22

V good, but simply too long.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book: Adam Schiffs commitment to his cause (and the telling of this particular story) are clearly evident... However... this book (or Audible narration) is EPIC in length and I deducted a star (rating) as I can not help feeling that the length of this tale could have been halved (!).

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  • Colin Lawrence
  • 01-31-22

Schiffs class as author, witness, leader and writer shines.

This is a compulsory read by all interested in the decline and demise of American democracy as president trump attempts to subvert government ; a totally corrupt and uncouth president transformed the entire Republican Party into a authoritarian regime where loyalty is the only criteria of membership. This is mainly about the first impeachment against trump where he was guilty of abuse and obstruction of justice ; Schiff is chief prosecutor as he attempts to convince Republican senators that they are supporting a monster. And should remove him from power. A wonderful book drawing on schiffs own insights about the trial and his personal life. A precious book ; schiffs narration is clear , authentic and haunting.

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  • Moneenroe
  • 01-19-22

Superb.

Really excellent book. Well done Mr. Schiff. It's a great insight to those events from a member of Congress. In decades to come, the names in the book will come alive and if democracy fails to survive in the US then it's all there to see who started the process.

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  • Brian
  • 01-11-22

Terrific, terrifying, terrible

Quite brilliant, somber yet kind, fierce but hopeful. A really good read and so good to hear it by the congressman.

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  • GILLWHITEHURST
  • 01-06-22

Well read and interesting

When you hear the accounts and sheer amount of corruption it's very veru scary .

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  • C. Lee
  • 10-18-21

Superb! Breathtaking! Compelling! Terrifying!

I binge-listened to the whole book over two days and I’m about to start it again! Adam Schiff’s recounting of these most important and terrifying events in world history, from his vantage point was utterly breathtaking and compelling. So well written and impeccably narrated. I felt like I was right there in the box seat! Just brilliant! Thank you! 🙏

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  • delia
  • 12-13-21

Review

I lisened to this right to the end never thinking that I would - thank you for writing it all that so needed to be said out loud I live here in Australia and the Trump legacy has impacted even here it's so scary he seems to have made it ok for people to say and behave in a way that you just can't believe l have no idea what the answers are to this but thanks again

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-11-21

Midnight in Washington

Beautifully written, thought provoking analysis of the former guys time in office.
I enjoyed every minute.
So glad that there is an honest record of some of the malfeasance that will serve as a warning for future generations.

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  • Christine
  • 11-18-21

should be required reading

beautiful. i found it the most poetic book about politics ever. a tragic joy to listen to.

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  • Miss B. KNORR
  • 11-04-21

Finally, the terrible truth we all suspected.

It's equally reassuring & terrifying to hear this insider story from Adam Schiff himself. His measured tone & mellifluous delivery imbue his insights with the gravitas deserved for so disturbing a tale. History will treat Mr Schiff with all the respect & admiration the 45th President craved but never received. Schiff was there as American democracy began its skeleton run down the slippery slope to fascism. it's a shame that his GOP colleagues were too self-serving to recognise that before long, they'd all be tired to that handcart on its way to hell. A wonderful & frank account of the most devastating episode of American politics ... until now. Schiff reflects what was great about American democracy. It's a shame that this is only the beginning.

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  • Sheryelle
  • 11-02-21

Sit up and pay attention

Brilliantly written and utterly terrifying. For those of us outside the US this book gives a clear, detailed, professional insight into the disastrous reign of Donald Trump. It also gives us reason to sit up and pay attention not only in the US but around the world’s democracies.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-22-21

Masterclass in the importance of process and perseverance

For a masterclass on the importance of information governance, due process, natural justice and the rule of law in preserving a liberal democracy, look no further than @RepAdamSchiff @AdamSchiff's
chronicle of the work required by all citizens to maintain liberty and order.

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  • katherine burchell
  • 10-21-21

thank you Adam Schiff

I was left with the knowledge we could be looking at a global part of morality.