By Daniella Diaz, CNN
Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat who serves on the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, said Sunday he believed Attorney General Merrick Garland knew “what is at stake here” regarding a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump from the Justice Department.
“One of the conventions that was squashed under the Trump administration was politicians’ respect for the independence of law enforcement,” the Maryland Democrat told CNN’s Dana Bash on “The ‘State of the Union’. “Attorney General Garland is my constituent, and I don’t intimidate my constituents. I think he knows, his staff knows, American lawyers know, what’s at stake here. They know the importance of it, but I think they rightly pay close attention to the historical precedents as well as the facts of this case.
Raskin’s comments came after the committee’s first public hearing on Thursday – the first in a series this month that will highlight the findings of the panel’s investigation, which included interviews with more than 1,000 people about how which Trump and his team attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election on several fronts.
Raskin, who is a lawyer, earlier in the interview drew a distinction between Congress’s power to indict people for contempt of Congress – pointing to indictments by the committee of members of Trump’s inner circle, including Peter Navarro, Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon disobeying subpoenas — versus a dismissal of crimes by the former president.
“There is no specific legislative provision to simply refer crimes to the Department of Justice. I guess our whole investigation is a referral of crimes to both the Justice Department and the American people, because this is a massive assault on the American democratic apparatus when you have a sitting president trying to overturn the majority in the Electoral College. of his opponent who beat him,” he said.
Rep. Adam Schiff, another Democratic member of the select committee, went a step further on Sunday, saying he thinks the DOJ should investigate Trump’s potential criminal activities with respect to Jan. 6.
‘I would like to see the Department of Justice investigate any credible allegations of criminal activity by Donald Trump or anyone else,’ he told ‘This Week’. from ABC.
“The rule of law must apply to everyone equally. And there are certain actions, parts of these various lines of effort to nullify the election, that I see no evidence that the Department of Justice is investigating.
He added: “Once the evidence has been accumulated by the Justice Department, it has to decide whether it can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of the president or anyone else, but they have to do investigated if there is credible evidence, which I believe there is.
Key Democratic leaders in Washington and across the country fear Trump may run for president again the moment Garland decides whether to prosecute him and others in his orbit for the Jan. 6 insurrection, reported. CNN last week.
Two dozen prominent Democrats in Washington and across the country told CNN that Garland may have missed his moment to bring criminal charges against top Trump administration officials before he was caught up in the jockey for the 2024 presidential campaign which is expected to begin later this year, after the midterm elections.
Garland has vowed to keep politics out of decision-making at the Justice Department, though he says he doesn’t shy away from political business. And justice officials say they still have plenty of time in President Joe Biden’s administration if they decide to prosecute any crimes related to efforts to overturn the election results.
Separately, as the committee revealed last week that several Republican lawmakers had asked then-President Donald Trump for forgiveness, including Rep. Scott Perry, Raskin called it “shocking.”
“It’s multiple members of Congress, as the Vice President (Liz Cheney) said in our opening hearing, and all in due course the details will surface,” he said. .
Perry denied asking Trump for forgiveness.
“The idea that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself or other members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, soulless lie,” he tweeted.
Schiff also said the committee plans to show evidence that Republican lawmakers are seeking pardons in the wake of the insurgency.
“We will show the evidence we have that members of Congress were asking for pardons,” he said. “To me, I think that’s one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of a conscience of guilt. Why wouldn’t the members do it if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overthrow the election was somehow appropriate? So we will present the evidence we have.
Raskin also said one of the purposes of the hearings was to prove to “any reasonable, open-minded person” that Trump knew he lost the election and wanted to overturn the results anyway.
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Post expires at 8:40pm on Wednesday June 22nd, 2022