Jamie Raskin reveals what he would ask Donald Trump if he agrees to testify under oath
WASHINGTON — Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) spoke to reporters outside of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 on Thursday conveying that he thinks the panel has done most of what it sought out to do and that they were able to gather considerable details to ensure the American public understood who the major actors were in an attempt to overturn the election.
"As the vice chair [Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WI)] observed we were actually able to nail down every salient detail and pretty much every area of defense except for a number of things related directly to what Donald Trump was doing and what he was saying. Obviously, we got some of it but we didn't get all of it. So one way of addressing the witnesses who took the Fifth [Amendment] when it came to Donald Trump's own actions is to call Donald Trump himself. It's had for me to imagine any American citizen essentially being accused of trying to overthrow his or her own government who wouldn't welcome the opportunity to come forward and testify."
The former president has railed against the committee, saying that he hasn't been able to have "equal time" to defend himself and has demanded that he be able to speak.
Raskin said that he wants to believe that any American who knew something about the Jan. 6 events would come forward, "and nobody knows more about them than Donald Trump."
He also said that they have successfully litigated contempt of Congress charges for witnesses who refused to cooperate previously and said that they anticipated that they could in this instance as well.
"We have a pretty unbroken track record of winning our cases because all we're asking people do is come forward and testify and the Supreme Court has been clear that Congress has the power to do that," Raskin continued.
Raskin said that he hopes to ask Trump specifically about "a number of places in our investigation where various witnesses refused to say anything invoking the Fifth Amendment, the privilege against self-incrimination, meaning they felt they could be exposing themselves to prosecution, precisely when dealing with President Trump so we would like him to explain what was going on at those various points."
Speaking to Raw Story, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) called the former president's behavior "treasonous."
"I'm horrified by the truth, but I'm heartened by the patriots in this room," Dean said.
Raskin said that he felt the committee had overwhelmingly achieved the goals that they set out with in investigating the attack and the efforts to overthrow the government with the exception of the legislative recommendations to ensure it doesn't happen in the future. That last piece will be part of their final report.
When asked about the Secret Service bombshells, Raskin said that he still has "some lingering questions about the Secret Service and different things that took place, but we've been able to get a lot of the information and that helped fill in the picture of what the president's shocking inaction and passivity in the face of the violence that was unfolding."
Raskin explained that it's Congress' role to provide oversight of all departments and that oversight should be conducted.
When asked about the Secret Service "bombshell," as Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) called it, Dean too was floored.
"Look at Office Harry Dunn! The Secret Service knew!" she exclaimed. "And did nothing to protect them! They did nothing to protect us. And then strangely lost a lot of messages. They knew the violence, they knew the weaponry, they knew the planning, they knew who was outside the magnetometers, and they knew the president was saying, 'let's go together.' They knew that the president was fighting to lead violent mobs — it's a coup. It's not just some spontaneous insurrection or riot. It was a premeditated coup by a desperate former president. I'm horrified."
What she thinks the Secret Service should have done is "alert everyone of the threat, shut it down and told the president was too risky. Make an address, and use a camera. Shut it down for the protection of the vice president, of these Capitol Police officers. It was a violent coup. Sometimes that's lost. There were 40 police officers seriously wounded. Any one of us could have been killed. They wanted to hang Mike Pence. This was a deadly coup attempt by a former president."
Dean said that "it says it all" that Trump was sitting in the dining room "enjoying watching it." She said that Trump "preplanned it."
With additional reporting by Matt Laslo
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