Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) refused to say Sunday whether the House Jan. 6 Committee has evidence that Republican lawmakers sought pardons from then-President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riots.
What is the background?
At the prime-time Jan. 6 Committee hearing last Thursday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) claimed multiple Republican lawmakers contacted the White House seeking presidential pardons. Cheney singled out Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
“As you will see, Rep. Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after Jan 6. to seek a presidential pardon,” Cheney said, adding, “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”
The committee, however, failed to present evidence at the hearing supporting the claim, and Perry has since denied the allegation.
“The notion that I ever sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, and soulless lie,” Perry said last Friday.
What did Raskin say?
During an interview with Raskin on “State of the Union,” CNN host Dana Bash pressed Raskin on those explosive claims and whether the committee has evidence to corroborate them. The Maryland Democrat, however, refused to directly answer the question.
“How many of your colleagues in Congress did that? And what evidence do you have?” Bash asked. “Because you know that congressman Scott Perry is denying it.”
“Yes,” Raskin responded. “Well, the seeking of pardons is powerful demonstration of the consciousness of guilt, or at least the consciousness that you may be in trouble. And that’s what’s so shocking about this. It’s not just one. It’s –”
“And you have evidence that has happened?” Bash interjected.
Raskin responded using passive language, claiming that “in due course” the details of the allegation “will surface.”
“So, yes, there’s evidence?” Bash followed up.
“Everything we’re doing is documented by evidence,” Raskin claimed, adding that “everything” the Jan. 6 Committee is doing is “based on facts.”
At no point in the interview did Raskin offer anything to prove the committee’s claims, nor did he directly answer whether the committee, in fact, has the evidence to prove that multiple GOP lawmakers sought presidential pardons.
Bash asks Raskin if he thinks Trump should be indicted
At any rate, the committee’s talking points are clear. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) used the exact phrase that Raskin used regarding the pardon allegation — “consciousness of guilt” — in an interview last Thursday.