Rep. Raskin Favors Prime-Time Hearings of January 6 Committee: 'If We Can Do That for...Watergate'

Susan Jones | January 5, 2022 | 7:55am EST
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President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( - "We will have public hearings. We will tell this story to the American people," Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told the January 6 Select Committee last month.

"But we won’t do it piecemeal. We’ll do it when we can tell the story all at once, from start to finish, not leave anyone guessing and not allowing it to fade into the memories of last week’s news."

On Wednesday, a member of that committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) endorsed the idea of holding committee hearings in prime-time so more Americans can watch the Trump vilification unfold.

MSNBC's Jonathan Lemire on Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” pointed to "new reporting" suggesting that the select committee was "considering some prime-time hearings to draw more attention, to capture America's eyes on the work you are doing right around now, the one-year anniversary. Can you talk to us about whether that's true and what the next steps of the committee might be?" Lemire asked.

"Well, I have favored this strategy from the beginning," Raskin replied.

"I remember as a kid getting to watch a bit of the Watergate hearings, which were a daily spectacle that the whole country tuned into.

“And if we can do that for, you know, a break-in in a couple of offices in the Watergate hotel, certainly, we can do it for a massive break-in into the Capitol of the United States, a storming, and a seizure essentially of our governmental offices, an interruption of the peaceful transfer of power in an attempt to overturn the results of an American presidential election."

Asked about President Trump's role on January 6, 2021, and what conversations Trump may have been having inside the Oval Office as the mob of Trump supporters attacked, Raskin said, "Well, that's probably the final piece of the puzzle that we haven't quite put in place yet.

We've had overwhelming cooperation and participation by witnesses up and down the line, except right when you get to the inner coterie and entourage surrounding former President Trump himself. And that's where we've run into a little bit of a brick wall with Steve Bannon, kind of Mark Meadows, who had one foot in and one foot out, Roger Stone and a couple of the other key players right there.

But, essentially, with Donald Trump, it is sufficient, usually, to follow his public pronouncements and his public conduct. And he had been whipping up a violent frenzy in the streets, at the rally, where he said, we never give up. You never give up when there's fraud involved. You've got to go and fight like hell and so on.

All of that was perfectly obvious, what he was doing. But what has come out, of course, is the inside strategy of trying to destroy Biden's Electoral College majority and kicking the whole thing into a contingent election. At which point they would have declared Trump the victor. And then he probably would have invoked the Insurrection Act, declared something like martial law, and then tried to call in the National Guard to put down the insurrection and the chaos he'd unleashed against us.

The committee has not yet subpoenaed Donald Trump, despite knowing what he "probably" would have done.

But the committee has subpoenaed some four dozen people, including people close to Trump, people in Trump's orbit, and rally organizers and attendees.

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