WASHINGTON — Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., suggested that the House Jan. 6 committee's upcoming hearings will be dramatic and include explosive revelations that the panel has been piecing together behind the scenes for months.
"The hearings will tell a story that will really blow the roof off the House," Raskin said Thursday at an event hosted by Georgetown University's Center on Faith and Justice in Washington.
Members of the committee plan to hold those hearings in June and aim to have a report out about their investigation by the end of the summer or early fall, said Raskin, who sits on the panel.
"No president has ever come close to doing what happened here in terms of trying to organize an inside coup to overthrow an election and bypass the constitutional order," he said. "And then also use a violent insurrection made up of domestic violent extremist groups, white nationalist and racist, fascist groups in order to support the coup."
Raskin said the committee will present "evidence" that proves there was coordination among then-President Donald Trump and his inner circle and his supporters who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The plan was to use then-Vice President Mike Pence to try to get President Joe Biden's electoral vote tally below the 270 majority needed for victory, Raskin said, which under the 12th Amendment would shift the contest to a vote in the House. If that occurred, he said, Republicans would have the majority to seize the presidency because the votes would be cast by the state delegations, and the GOP controls more state delegations than the Democrats do.
"It’s anybody’s guess what could have happened — martial law, civil war. You know, the beginning of authoritarianism," Raskin said, speculating on what might have unfolded if the plan was successful. "I want people to pay attention to what’s going on here, because that’s as close to fascism as I ever want my country to come to again."
"This was not a coup directed at the president," Raskin said. "It was a coup directed by the president against the vice president and against the Congress."
The plan was coordinated "most tightly by Trump and his inner circle," Raskin said, adding that the committee faced the most difficulty in this aspect of its probe. The panel has interviewed more than 800 witnesses, but he said, "The closer you get to Trump, the more they refuse to testify."
Speaking about the threats to Pence on Jan. 6 and the chants by rioters to hang him, Raskin said the vice president's Secret Service agents — including one who was carrying the nuclear football — ran down to an undisclosed place in the Capitol. Those agents, who Raskin said he suspects were reporting to Trump’s Secret Service agents, were trying to whisk Pence away from the Capitol.
Pence then "uttered what I think are the six most chilling words of this entire thing I've seen so far: 'I'm not getting in that car,'" Raskin said.
"He knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do," Raskin said.