Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who serves on the Jan. 6 Select Committee, said then-President Trump’s efforts to incite a coup will be front and center in the panel’s upcoming public hearings.
In an interview with Reuters published Monday, Raskin offered a preview of the committee’s approach to its public hearings.
“This was a coup organized by the president against the vice president and against the Congress in order to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” Raskin said, when pressed on what the panel has learned thus far in its investigation into the events surrounding Jan. 6.
Raskin said the committee intends to tell “the whole story of everything that happened.”
“There was a violent insurrection and an attempted coup and we were saved by [then-Vice President] Mike Pence’s refusal to go along with that plan,” Raskin said.
Reuters noted that it’s unclear whether Raskin was giving his own perspective or if his thinking is shared by others serving on the committee.
Raskin also said the hearings will outline the steps Trump and his associates took for the former president to stay in office, despite the scenario being constitutionally impossible.
If the insurrectionists successfully carried out their mission to block the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, Raskin said, Trump “was prepared to seize the presidency and likely to invoke the Insurrection Act and martial law.”
The committee has not decided whether it would attempt to seek testimony from Trump or Pence, Raskin said.
Raskin’s remarks come a week after Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), a member of the committee, offered a similar take on what the panel has learned thus far during an interview published in New York Magazine.
“The most concerning part to me is to know how close we were to a different outcome,” Luria said. “If a few people had not been in the right place and done the right thing, like the former vice-president, for example.”
Last month, the committee alleged in a court filing that the former president and his allies “engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States.” Lawyers for the committee wrote that Trump and key allies engaged in criminal acts when they tried to pressure Pence to subvert the results of the 2020 election.
The Justice Department is also looking into the events surrounding Jan. 6, and, in recent weeks, reportedly expanded the scope of its investigation beyond the insurrectionists themselves. The investigation will include the planning of the “Stop the Steal” rally that happened hours before the insurrection and an unsuccessful plot to push slates of fake electors by some Trump allies, the Washington Post reported.