Member of House Jan. 6 committee says federal prosecutors ‘paying close attention’ to hearings


The House Jan. 6 committee members don’t just want to convince Americans that former President Donald Trump plotted a “coup,” they want to convince the Justice Department to prosecute him.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack, said Sunday that he is confident Attorney General Merrick Garland has a firm understanding of “what’s at stake here” when asked about a possible indictment against Mr. Trump.

He also pledged to give Mr. Garland space to decide whether to step in.

“Attorney General Garland is my constituent, and I don’t browbeat my constituents,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think that he knows, his staff knows, the U.S. attorneys know what’s at stake here. They know the importance of it.” 

“But I think they’re rightfully paying close attention to precedent and history, as well as the facts of this case,” he said.

Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican and vice-chair of the select committee, said in April that the investigation had gathered enough evidence to refer Mr. Trump for criminal charges, though the committee might not choose to do so.

SEE ALSO: Rep. Jamie Raskin: ‘Reasonable’ people understand Trump purposely spread election lie

The select committee, which is chaired by Reps. Bernie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, held its first prime-time hearing last week, laying out the case that Mr. Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

It was the first of several scheduled prime-time hearings conducted by a committee created last year by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, to investigate the events of Jan. 6, 2021. 

House GOP leaders have dismissed the inquiry as a political witch hunt and a desperate attempt by Democrats to shift attention away from President Biden’s failures ahead of the midterm elections in November.

After the TV hearing, Mr. Trump summed up his view of the committee in a post on his TruthSocial site: “Same group that brought you the FAKE, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA HOAX!!!”

The committee is slated on Monday to hold a hearing that will focus on the “lies” that led to the attack on the Capitol. 

Chris Stirewalt, who previously worked for Fox News, is expected to testify.

Ms. Cheney has said it will focus on Mr. Trump‘s effort “to convince huge portions of the U.S. population that fraud had stolen the election from him.”

On Sunday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the only other Republican on the committee, said the hearings this week will show the various things Mr. Trump did to stay in power and show a lot of the people in his inner circle did not believe his stolen election claims but spread the claims nonetheless.

“I think the people around him didn’t believe it,” he said on CBS “Face the Nation. “This was all about keeping power against the will of the American people.

Mr. Kinzinger also said Mr. Trump did not call the National Guard on Jan. 6.

“I think it is very obvious that the president didn’t do anything but gleefully watch television when this was going down,” he said. “He can say anything he wants. The real leader, the only person in charge who made these calls, was Mike Pence and we’ll prove that.”

Members of the committee also said Sunday they will also provide more details this week about the members of Congress who sought a pardon from Mr. Trump before he left office.

“Seeking of pardons is a powerful demonstration of the consciousness of guilt or at least the consciousness that you may be in trouble,” Mr. Raskin said.


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Jeffrey Damon
the authorJeffrey Damon