Raskin: Jan. 6 panel found evidence of ‘concerted planning and premeditated activity’
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has found evidence of “concerted planning and premeditated activity,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said on Tuesday, ahead of the panel’s first public hearing on Thursday.
The congressional investigators have conducted more than 1,000 interviews and obtained upward of 125,000 documents during a nearly one-year investigation.
The Maryland Democrat, a member of the Jan. 6 panel, told Washington Post Live on Monday that this week’s hearing will “tell the story of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power.”
“So this is an extraordinary and unprecedented event in our history,” he added.
Pressed on if the committee has found that a conspiracy was underway to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election — noting that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a fellow panel member, and a federal judge have used the same language — Raskin said, “Yes, the committee has found evidence of concerted planning and premeditated activity.”
“The idea that all of this was just a rowdy demonstration that spontaneously got a little bit out of control is absurd. You don’t almost knock over the U.S. government by accident,” he added.
The congressman said the panel is going to “lay out all of the evidence we have found.” He noted that the House resolution establishing the committee charged it with “defining what happened on Jan. 6, explaining the causes of what happened, and then ultimately laying out recommendations that would allow us to fortify ourselves against coups and insurrections going forward.”
The Jan. 6 committee last week said Thursday’s hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., will “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”
The prime-time hearing marks the first time the investigation, which has largely been conducted behind the scenes, will be presented to the public. The panel has not yet released a witness list for the evening.
The idea of former President Trump and his allies potentially engaging in a “conspiracy” has come up in legal proceedings related to Jan. 6.
In March, U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote in a decision that Trump and his legal adviser John Eastman “more likely than not” committed multiple federal crimes when carrying out efforts to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s 2020 election win.
In the 44-page decision, Carter mentioned a “conspiracy,” pointing to a memo Eastman wrote that recommended then-Vice President Mike Pence reject electors on Jan. 6.
“Because the memo likely furthered the crimes of obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, it is subject to the crime-fraud exception and the Court ORDERS it to be disclosed,” Carter wrote.
The decision also included a subsection titled “Overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
And in an interview with CBS News that aired on Sunday, Cheney — one of the two Republican lawmakers serving on the Jan. 6 panel — said, “I do” when asked if she believed the Jan. 6 effort was a conspiracy.