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tv   Rep. Jamie Raskin on January 6 Committee Public Hearings  CSPAN  June 9, 2022 4:15am-4:47am EDT

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host: hello.
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welcome to washington journal live. thank you so much for joining us. we are talking with the congressman because today is the first week of the january 6 committee hearing. representative jamie raskin is the committee member. wetatweet us and we will try tok your questions.
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this week is the first hearing of a series of hearings at the january 6 committee is holding. what can we expect on thursday during prime time at 8:00? rep. raskin: you will see an introduction of the findings laid out over the course of the month of june. we are going to hear the story of the conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power. this is an extraordinary and unprecedented event in our history. you are going to have to go back to the civil war to understand anything like it. of course, there, the confederate members denied abraham one the election.
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they want to succeed from the union. multiple efforts to overturn the steps of the election all backed by violent assault. shut down the counting of electoral votes for the first time in american history for the first time in several hours. host: your colleague representative liz cheney said over the weekend in separate in -- a separate interview, he said it was more likely than not the donald trump was a part of a conspiracy. to overturn the election. is that what the hearing is going to lay out? is that what the committee has found? rep. raskin: yes.
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the committee has found evidence of concerted planning and premeditated activity. all around a demonstration -- that got a little out of control is absurd. we are going to lay out all of the evidence. house bill -- charges us with defining what happened. explaining the causes of what happened and ultimately letting out recommendations that would allow us to fortify ourselves against an insurrection moving forward. host: is donald trump the center of this conspiracy? are you able to connect those dots? rep. raskin: are going to have
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to make judgments themselves of the relative role that people played. i think donald trump and the white house were at the center of these events. that is the only way of making sense of them all. in bipartisan infection -- in bipartisan fashion, they have already decided donald trump incited the insurrection. commanding majorities found that he incited this insurrection. the select committee has found more. we are going to be laying out evidence of all of the actors that were pivotal to what took place on january 6.
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>> do you think what you lay out this month will be strong enough for the department of justice to indict? to bring up criminal charges? rep. raskin: it is best to look at what federal judges and prosecutors themselves are saying on that. you referenced judge colyer and a john easton litigation in -- more likely than not that donald trump had committed federal offenses. there are lots of people fighting about that. this gives the opportunity to distinguish between what the department of justice is doing and will do and what we are doing. we are a legislative investigative committee giving a report to the congress and the people of the united states.
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this is a democracy. the people have the right to know the truth about our government and everything that affects it and what is going on. the department of justice is collecting evidence of crimes. they are engaged in more than 800 prosecutions of people. from everything from assaulting federal officers to interference with a federal proceeding, to conspiracy. which means conspiracy to overturn the government. it there are already multiple guilty pleas along this line and outstanding prosecutions along those lines, too. we think there is overwhelming evidence of this plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election. in coordination with a violent assault on our bodies.
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the prosecutors are going to have to sort it out with respect to independent and speaking to one member of the committee, i have confidence in the ability of the department of justice to do their job. >> staying on the department of justice, they asked the committee for transcripts for some of the work you have already done. it has the committee handed those transcripts over and has there been any cooperation or any additional giving of all the information you have received? rep. raskin: i cannot speak to specifics about the evidence that we have collected. i will just say, speaking as one member, i believe we are invested in -- of our own committee and congress and collecting this information and reporting it to the american people and congress, but we are
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invested in the success of law enforcement. i do not know the details about what you're asking about specifically, but i will say i would hope all the evidence is available to the american and to prosecutors to see that crimes against the government of the united states are prosecuted. >> the point of these hearings and based on your investigations to lay out and connect the dots for the american public or is it to you on earth and reveal things that are new that we didn't know about? rep. raskin: there might be some of the latter but really it is some of the former. we are communicating those things that we have found. we have an absolute mountain of
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evidence that took place. our problem is the serving the core, -- the core evidence to share with the american people. 150 of our officers were wounded or hospitalized by the mob which are least -- which unleashed violence. the capital -- block the counting of electoral votes. we have officers with broken vertebrae, broken ribs, broken jaws, lost fingers, dramatic injuries. posttraumatic injuries.
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unlike anything we've have ever seen of work. i believe it is the most massive and sweeping criminal investigation by the doj in its history. nothing comes close to it. we are talking about immense gravity and danger. to make sure we never experienced anything like this again. it was not legitimate political discourse of any kind, it was violence unleashed against the people of the united states and our representatives in congress and all of it was surrounding a conservative, pre-existing plot to overturn and destroy the results of the 2021 presidential election. >> ruthie kessler asks, "realistically what legislation
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do you believe can get past to ensure we don't run into another january 6? with emphasis on realistically pure call -- with emphasis on realistically." rep. raskin: we need to get the complete story out and people need to have it. for that same reason, -- what is considered possible in one element differs from what is considered possible in another element. we need to have a far-reaching inclusive public dialogue about what needs to be done in order to prevent these kinds of events in the future. a limited agenda the elect do count act.
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extraconstitutional, unwritten authority to single-handedly reject the electoral congress. nobody believes the vice president has that power. including vice president pence. seriously objected all of donald trump's -- two reject the electoral college. if we set the vice president of that authority has a very limited response to a very big problem, the essential problem is there may be political l of -- political elements centered
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around the 2021 election. those elements may be organizing to try to thwart democracy going forward. as early as a 2022 election, or the 2024 election. we need to solidify the rights of the people to vote against voter suppression. that is my view. and we need to make certain the creaky processes of the electoral college are not exploited to try to nullify the popular vote. a discussion we are going to have to ask after we get through with all of this, we have been able to operate in model bipartisan way. all of us want to maintain the bipartisan -- and our committee.
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>> really quickly on the electoral college, you have said in a previous interview that you think that entire system should be redone or perhaps even dismantled. it is that an accurate description of where you stand on that? rep. raskin: yet. in history, the very first state bill and marilyn was for the popular vote. i speak only for myself here. totally apart from all of this, i take a position that the electoral college is an undemocratic relic of the early constitution. just like the state legislature selecting u.s. senators which is something we got rid of in 1913. with the 17th amendment.
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we got rid of in 1920, the 19th amendment. by the people, for the people, we started as a slave republic. it has been a social and political struggle that we have open america up. but we still do have what i think are some political institutions in the country. and some -- political practices. whether it is in this context or another context, i do not know if we will see and engage in that conversation and compromise. we need to be honest about where our political institutions are and to what extent they are interfering with real democracy in america.
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january 6 is a day that one of my colleagues in the committee from colorado said that used to be a day when the electoral college votes would command, the certificate of ascertainment from the governor's and it would be a day of celebration. it would take 15 or 20 minutes to receive all of them and it would be bipartisan direction on capitol hill. seven people lost their lives either on that day or in the immediate aftermath of january 6 . we have to look very seriously if there are going to be more like this. to exploit the many different steps along the way of the electoral college to keep revisiting or threatening the popular results. i speak there just for myself. i am happy to have that discussion when we get through telling the american people about what happened on january 6
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and why we think it happened. >> i want to focus on vice president mike pence. he was a critical person in the lead up on january 6. it does the committee planned to call him in to testify? rep. raskin: we will not be speaking publicly with our plans for potential witnesses. i cannot comment on that. >> what about some of the people who were very close to him. like his top counsel or his chief of staff? could they be potential witnesses in the hearings this month? rep. raskin: again, i do not want to enter any specifics. we have wanted to make sure that we get as much information as possible from as many material witnesses as possible. we have to figure out exactly what happened. vice president pence was the
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object of this political onslaught on january 6. we need to fill in the details as much as possible about what happened there. as i understand it, the purpose was to try to get pens to exercise, totally unprecedented -- by donald trump. they wanted him to single-handedly nullify the votes of tens of millions of people. clinched it for donald trump in the election or when it would have done -- if that were the
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case, it would have kicked the entire process into the house of representatives. why they want the house under speaker pelosi and democrats deciding who will be president, they understood perfectly that under the 12th amendment we would be voting not on the basis of one member, one vote, but in the basis of what state delegation -- one state, pennsylvania split down the middle would allow 27 to 22 to one vote. wyoming's at-large representative, they still would have had 26 votes. this is something donald trump was clearly aware of.
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an election under the sukkah member. that could have been done with the insurrection act. we will talk about the insurrection act and the possibility that martial law also could have resorted -- could have resulted from those events. all of us were presented with a memo that vice president mike pence had written explaining what he could not do what donald trump was trying to force him to do. which was to reject the electoral college votes and return them to the states. she did the right thing on that day. -- he did the right thing on
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that day. >> -- has the committee found that? rep. raskin: the hearings will tell a story about what took place on that day. >> whose name should we expect to hear over and over again throughout these hearings? what you just described sounds like --. who are we going to hear about the most? what characters should we become the most familiar with? rep. raskin: johnny has been the legal architect for the so-called green bay suite of trying to destroy joe biden's legitimate majority in the electoral college. biden had one more than 7 million votes. in the popular vote, he had --
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in the electoral college. would happened to be the same margins defeated hillary by in 2016. a margin trump declared and announced was a landslide. the whole point was, by any means necessary to destroy biden majority electoral college. we are going to go through a whole series of steps that were taken. more than -- judges nominated to the bench by trump himself finding there was no electoral fraud. we have a comprehensive and detailed statement by the
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judiciary federal and state rejecting every allegation of voter fraud or voter suppression affecting the outcome. they went on to try to force the state legislatures to nullify the popular vote and just inched -- install electors. state election officials, brad raffensperger in georgia, to find the votes. donald trump told them found -- find me 11,000 votes. that is all i need. that wasn't donald trump trying to stop election fraud, that was donald trump trying to commit election fraud. then they moved on to other
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plans, including a plan involved to get the military to seize the election machinery and rerun the election so all of it came down to january 6. explosive political consequence for our country. >> who is they? rep. raskin: that will also become clear. the different players who were involved. it was not one person. these hearings are very different from what took place in the second impeachment of donald trump. about one person and one crime. here, we have been tasked with
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determining a company into answer of facts. >> what about one of mark meadows aides who had become critical in the community it seems? how important has she went -- has she rinsed to finding out what happened inside the white house on january 6? rep. raskin: i don't want to discuss particulars in respect to what she has done part -- to what she has done. i will say it has been difficult to get some of donald trump's instruments within his political entourage to testify. there are lots of young people immersed in this process. the kind of people who make washington work because they make plans.
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they get stuff done. they were privy to a lot of what was going on. they have come forward to testify about what they know about this political assault on the election and the insurrection that took place on january 6. she is someone who rendered truthful testimony to our committee. you will see others and a few staffers that come forward and cooperate enthusiastically with this investigation into this attack on our country. >> what about your fellow colleagues? your fellow members of congress who have been subpoenaed? -- wrote a very long letter back to the committee. one part of it was he said it
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was not the committee. the committee was not a valid use of subpoena --. rep. raskin: the court proceedings which have rejected those arguments. they have claims that our committee doesn't have a lawful investigative purpose. courts come back and say it is not a legitimate purpose to investigate and attack -- we can be an instrument to the public. we cannot do that -- overthrow
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the government of the united states. they rejected the claim that we are illegally composed. which is an argument that mr. mccarthy is in a bizarre position to make, given the fact that he was the one --. the republicans had advance for an independent, outside non-11 style commission to investigate january 6. which was something we agreed to as the democrats. five republicans, five democrats -- any investigation. the gop leadership ended up pulling the plug on the proposal.
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congressman bennie thompson who is now the chair of the select committee has except it there? d this is what we need to do to have a fair and accurate investigation and he agreed to it in the republicans pulled the plug on it because donald trump didn't want it. now they come back with the composition of the committee, where they have done everything they can to undermine, this is a very effective, focused, bipartisan committee. it's the most bipartisan committee i've ever been on in the sense that we are working together towards common ends rather than just engaging in rhetorical combat. that's a lot of what we see unfortunately in the judiciary committee hearing on gun violence.
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focusing on the issue of gun violence, it dissolved into all of these attacks coming from the gop side. >> congressman, we are unfortunately out of time. i have about 3000 more questions for you. [laughter] we will be watching those hearings and thank you so much for your time today. i really appreciate it. >> thank you so much for having me. >> yes, talk soon. thank you all for watching and joining us. for more head washington post, you can watch.
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