Rep. Jamie Raskin: 'Reasonable' people understand Trump purposely spread election lie


Rep. Jamie Raskin said Sunday “any reasonable person” listening to the Jan. 6 House select committee hearings will understand former President Trump knew he was spreading a lie about the 2020 election.

The Maryland Democrat, a member of the committee, also said “in due course” the committee’s investigation will provide additional details on members of Congress who sought presidential pardons.

“Any reasonable person in America would say [former President Trump] had to have known he was spreading the big lie,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Mr. Raskin said the committee will continue this week to spell out the details of the attack on the Capitol and the role Mr. Trump played in inciting it.

“I think it continues to be an absolutely shocking event in American history that there was an attempted political coup organized by the president of the United States to overthrow an election to stay in office,” Mr. Raskin said.

The Montgomery County Democrat urged voters to stay focused on the hearings “because the danger is still out there.”

Democrats have touted the ratings for Thursday night’s opening hearing, which was carried live on multiple cable and broadcast channels and drew a collective viewership of more than 20 million — though at least one analysis of the numbers suggests the ratings were underwhelming.  

Mr. Raskin sidestepped questions over whether the committee should make a criminal referral of  Mr. Trump to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and the Department of Justice.

“I think that he knows, his staff knows, U.S. attorneys know what is at stake here,” he said. “I think they are rightfully paying attention to precedent and history as well as the facts of this case,” he said.

Asked about lawmakers who sought pardons, Mr. Raskin said the committee will shed more light on the issue.

“The seeking of pardons is a powerful demonstration of the consciousness of guilt or at least the consciousness that you might be in trouble,” he said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that every member of Congress should be able to say whether or not they requested a presidential pardon.

“I’m happy to answer that question,” she said.

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