“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 bully 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 are rightly paying close attention to precedent in history as well as to the facts of this case.”
“There is no specific legal provision to simply refer crimes to the Department of Justice. I assume that our entire investigation is a referral of crimes to both the Department of Justice and the American people, because it is acts as a massive assault on the machinery of American democracy when you have a sitting president trying to overthrow the Electoral College majority of his opponent who defeated 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 different lines of effort to cancel the elections, on which I see no evidence that the Ministry 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 should be investigated if there is credible evidence, which I believe there is.”
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, with the committee revealing last week that several Republican lawmakers had apologized to then-President Donald Trump, 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’ll present what 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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