Transcript: Rep. Jamie Raskin on “Face the Nation,” July 10, 2022

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The following is the transcript of an interview with Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland that aired Sunday, July 10, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”


ROBERT COSTA: Former President Trump’s top White House Lawyer Pat Cipollone talked with the January 6 committee for eight hours Friday. The committee tells us this morning that they received critical testimony on nearly every major topic in its investigation, reinforcing key points regarding Donald Trump’s misconduct and providing highly relevant new information that will play a central role in its upcoming hearings. We’re back with Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin. He will be a lead questioner in Tuesday’s January 6 Committee hearing. Good morning, Congressman, thanks for being here.

CONGRESSMAN JAMIE RASKIN: Delighted to be with you, Robert.

ROBERT COSTA: A rare statement from the committee characterizing testimony from Friday, what will we hear Tuesday? And will it include some of Cipollone?

REP. RASKIN: Well, we’re going to continue the story of Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow the 2020 Presidential Election. And at the last hearings, we showed how lots of doors were closing on him, if not all the way at least part of the way when the state legislatures, that didn’t work for him.The Department of Justice “mini-coup” didn’t really work for him. The attempt to get DOJ to say that the election was corrupt had not come through. The effort to intimidate election officials, like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in Georgia, had not succeeded. But now, he was turning his attention to January the 6th. And we’re gonna get to use a lot of Mr. Cipollone’s testimony to corroborate other things we’ve learned along the way. He was the White House Counsel at the time. He was aware of every major move, I think, that Donald Trump was making to try to overthrow the 2020 election and essentially seize the presidency. And so I considered his testimony valuable. 

ROBERT COSTA: So we’ll see him perhaps on video or part of his testimony excerpted, but who will we have in the hearing room as live witnesses?

REP. RASKIN: Well, one of the things that people are going to learn is the fundamental importance of a meeting that took place in the White House on December the 18th. And on that day, the group of lawyers of outside lawyers who’ve been denominated ‘team crazy’ by people in and around the White House, came in to try to urge several new courses of action, including the seizure of voting machines around the country. And so, some of the people involved in that were Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani was around for part of that discussion, Michael Flynn was around for that. But against this ‘team crazy’ were an inside group of lawyers who essentially wanted the President at that point to acknowledge that he had lost the election, and were far more willing to accept the reality of his defeat at that point. So-so there will be there will be other witnesses coming-um.

ROBERT COSTA: Witnesses who are at the December 18 2020 meeting. First-hand witnesses?

REP. RASKIN: No, there will be testimony about that. There will be other kinds of evidence submitted about that. But there will be other witnesses and I’m afraid I’m not authorized to disclose who those witnesses are at this point. 

ROBERT COSTA: If anyone’s authorized it’s you. What about Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist seems to be signaling he’s willing to come in. Do you buy it? Is it a genuine offer? And will you accept it?

REP. RASKIN: Look, we want everybody’s testimony. We’ve talked to more than 1,000 people. And to me, it vindicates the way our system of justice works in the way that our democracy works. And legislative democracy works. Well, I understand from reports today, he’s had a change of heart, and after watching, presumably, all of these people come forward, you know, including Cassidy, Hutchinson, you know, he’s decided that he wants to come in and if he wants to come in, I’m certain that the committee would be very interested in hearing from him.

ROBERT COSTA: Would it be closed door with Bannon? Or do you want to – he could go out there and pontificate if it was a public live hearing.

REP. RASKIN: The way that we have treated every single witness is the same, that they come in, they talk to the committee there. If they’re going to take a deposition, they’re sworn under oath. It’s videotaped. It’s recorded, and then we take it from there. 

ROBERT COSTA: Bannon was at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC on the night of January 5, 2021, the eve of the insurrection. What are we going to learn from you’re hearing on Tuesday about the Willard Hotel. Roger Stone, also present at the Willard that night. Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani. Is there a real connection between those those so called War Rooms, the violence outside the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers gathering and what was happening inside the West Wing?

REP. RASKIN: Well, I think your question practically answers itself. Donald Trump was, of course, the central figure who set everything into motion. He wasn’t the person, Rob, who identified January 6, as the date for the big protest. And he announced that in his tweet in the middle of the night on December 19, after a crazy meeting, one that has been described as the craziest meeting in the entire Trump presidency, ended December 18. And Mark Meadows escorted Rudy Giuliani out the door, it sort of ended at that point. And then, just an hour or two later, Donald Trump sent out the tweet that would be heard around the world, the first time in American history when a president United States called a protest against his own government, in fact, to try to stop the counting of electoral college votes in a presidential election he had lost. Absolutely unprecedented, nothing like that had ever happened before. So people are going to hear the story of that tweet, and then the explosive effect it had in Trump World and specifically among the domestic violent extremist groups, the most dangerous political extremists in the country. 

ROBERT COSTA: What about Ginny Thomas, the spouse of Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, her lawyer now says she doesn’t want to appear. Will she ever appear before your committee?

REP. RASKIN: I mean, again, that’s like with Steve Bannon. I mean, the vast majority of people, young, middle- aged, old, Cassidy Hutchinson’s a great example, have done their civic duty, have done their legal duty have done their patriotic duty, and have said, I’m going to come forward and tell you everything I know, and nothing but the truth –

ROBERT COSTA: But what’s your message to her? 

JAMIE RASKIN: To whom?

ROBERT COSTA: Ginni Thomas.

JAMIE RASKIN: My message is the same to all Americans, which is if you have relevant information, if you are a material witness, in any respect to these events, come forward and tell us what you know.

ROBERT COSTA: Can you force her hand?

REP. RASKIN: Again, you know, I don’t want to enter into questions and negotiations about specific witnesses. I mean, it’s kind of a violation of our responsibility to the public, but we are telling everybody in the public, come forward and tell us what you know. And you know, if you get a subpoena, I mean, a subpoena is not an invitation to Valentine’s Day party. A subpoena is telling you, the word subpoena means under penalty of law. You get a subpoena; you come in.

ROBERT COSTA: When you look at your previous comments, you said these hearings would quote, blow the roof off the house major hearing this week on Tuesday, led by you, in part, another major hearing on Thursday? Will your statements still stand by Friday that these hearings will blow the roof off the house?

REP. RASKIN: Well, not literally, certainly. But I think what I meant is that when you add all of this up together, it is the greatest political offense against the union and by a president of the United States in our history, nothing comes close to it. It, you know–

ROBERT COSTA: –a criminal offense, 

REP. RASKIN: –the attempt-the attempt to overthrow the result of a presidential election through a political coup, and the mobilization of an armed violent mob cannot really be compared to anything else a president has done, it makes the Watergate break-in look like the work of Cub Scouts. So I-I just hope that we’re telling everything we know, in a competent and effective way to the American people. Because, you know, Madison said that in a democracy, the people have the right to the most awful truth, which is the truth about the nature of government and their rulers. And we need Americans to look very carefully at what happened.

ROBERT COSTA: Congressman Raskin, thank you. The next January 6 hearing will be on Tuesday, July 12. And you can watch it right here on CBS on our broadcast and our streaming network. We’ll be back in a moment.



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