Raskin says he’s ‘impatient’ with pace of DOJ’s Jan. 6 investigation
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Friday said he is “impatient” with the pace of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
His comment came one day after the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack held its final hearing of the summer, which focused on former President Trump’s inaction during the Capitol riot.
Simultaneously with the committee’s investigation, the DOJ has been conducting its own probe into the Capitol riot.
One key difference between the two, however, is that the DOJ has authority to press criminal charges, while the select committee’s mandate is to gather the facts, write a report and put forward recommendations to ensure that the riot does not happen again. Committee members have consistently punted questions regarding Trump’s criminal exposure to the DOJ.
Raskin, who is a member of the select committee, is now saying he is frustrated by the pace of the DOJ’s inquiry, noting that the House panel will only have authority for a few more months.
“Obviously I’m impatient,” Raskin told SiriusXM’s “Joe Madison The Black Eagle” during an interview on Friday, when asked if Attorney General Merrick Garland should be moving more quickly.
“We don’t have a lot of time certainly in Congress to do our work because at the end of this Congress, we’re over,” Raskin added, noting that a new Congress begins in January.
The Maryland Democrat continued, saying the committee is “in a hurry, but we’re also in a hurry for America because we gotta deal with people who attack the constitutional order before the 2024 election.”
“And we’re still in front of the 2022 election so I would like to see some motion there, but beyond that, I don’t really want to say much more because Merrick Garland is my constituent and I do not beat up on my constituent,” he added.
Garland commented on the investigation this week when asked about the strategy the department has taken in its inquiry.
The attorney general said the probe is “the most wide-ranging investigation and the most important investigation that the justice department has ever entered into,” emphasizing that there has been a lot of speculation regarding the inquiry because the DOJ does not conduct its investigations in public.
“We have to get this right. And for the people who are concerned, as I think every American should be, about protecting democracy, we have to do two things: we have to hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election, and we must do it in a way filled with integrity and professionalism, the way the Justice Department conducts investigations,” Garland said.
“Both of these are necessary in order to achieve justice and to protect our democracy,” he added.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), another member of the Jan. 6 panel, made comments similar to Raskin’s last month, telling CBS’s “The Late Show” that he is “frustrated” by the pace at which the DOJ has indicted individuals.
He specifically criticized the DOJ for refusing to indict former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump’s ex-social media director Dan Scavino with contempt of Congress.
“The Justice Department has failed to indict them for that. And so all it does is send a message you just have to resist the select committee and you may be able to resist all penalties,” Kinzinger said.
“That’s been a frustration,” he added.
–Updated on July 26 at 11:22 a.m.
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