National Security

Trump attempted coup on Jan. 6 to be highlighted in hearings, panel member says

FILE – Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump storm the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. An Ohio man charged with stealing a coat rack from the U.S. Capitol doesn’t deny that he joined the mob that stormed the building last year. But a lawyer for Capitol riot defendant Dustin Thompson vows to show that former President Donald Trump abused his power to authorize the attack on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol will focus on then-President Trump’s role when committee hearings resume next month, according to one of the leading Democrats on the committee.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, (D-Md.), who led the prosecution of Trump’s second impeachment, said in a recent interview that Trump attempted a “self-coup.”

”We’re going to tell the whole story of everything that happened,” Raskin said, according to Reuters’ report from the interview, which also involved NPR and The Guardian.

“This was a coup organized by the president against the vice president and against the Congress in order to overturn the 2020 presidential election,” he added.

“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.”

According to Reuters, it wasn’t clear whether Raskin was expressing only his personal view or the thinking also of others on the special committee, which includes seven Democrats and two Republicans.

During a rally near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump urged his supporters to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election.

Texts from Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, have shed light on how a number of lawmakers, media personalities and high-profile GOP figures were working to keep Trump in power.

The Democrat-led select committee has interviewed hundreds of witnesses about the riot later that day, when thousands of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing lawmakers and staff to go into hiding for hours. However, neither Trump or Pence have been asked to testify.

“We don’t have a lot of experience with coups in our own country and we think of a coup as something that takes place against a president,” Raskin said, noting that the Capitol attack was different, because it it did not involve the military or other faction attacking the president.

“It’s what the political scientists call a self-coup … it’s a president fearful of defeat, overthrowing the constitutional process,” Raskin said.

The House impeached Trump for a second time after the riot, but the Senate voted to acquit him.

The Hill has reached out to to Raskin’s office for comment.

Tags Donald Trump Jamie Raskin Jamie Raskin Jan. 6 Capitol riot Jan. 6 hearings Mark Meadows Mike Pence

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