On a Thursday Zoom call with progressive activists, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said that the upcoming hearings by the Jan. 6 select committee probing the riot at the U.S. Capitol staged by supporters of former President Donald Trump will “blow the roof off the House.”
“We are going to do everything we can to subpoena all the information we need and to enforce our subpoenas. But even if we don’t get every last person in there, we are going to have hearings that I believe will be compared to the Watergate hearings, because they are going to blow the roof off the House in terms of explaining to America what actually happened in the attack on our democracy,” Raskin, who sits on the select committee, told an audience of approximately 40,000 people who watched his remarks on Facebook.
While former Trump administration figures and supporters have defied subpoenas for information and testimony, Raskin said the committee had spoken with more than 400 witnesses to date who have already laid the groundwork for explosive hearings.
“I hope everybody will watch and I hope everybody will discuss it and then it will lead to a report that, I hope again, will be a game changer in terms of American history,” Raskin said.
In response to questions about holding Trump personally accountable for pushing the disproven claim that he lost the 2020 presidential election due to voter fraud, which served as the motivation for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Raskin promised “a reckoning.”
“But you know, the guy’s a walking crime wave, and he has committed crimes all over the country, including sexual harassment and assault on a lot of people. There’s bank fraud and there’s real estate fraud and there’s tax fraud,” Raskin said.
“And there are prosecutors all over the country, looking at all that stuff. I don’t want us to fetishize Donald Trump that much — he will meet you know, his maker, one place or another, there will be accountability and a reckoning with the law.”
The committee has already made headlines by releasing text messages it has obtained that it says show that Fox News host Sean Hannity "had advance knowledge regarding President Trump's and his legal team's planning for January 6th," and that Ivanka Trump had urged her father to stop the violence at the Capitol.
The committee also said this week that it had interviewed Trump supporter Ray Epps and released a statement that attempted to discredit the assertion made by some conservatives that he was acting as an FBI agent or informant when encouraging people to enter the Capitol. Epps appeared on the FBI's Most Wanted list shortly after the Jan. 6 riot, only to be later removed, a fact that some Republicans say points to his involvement with the FBI.
"I’m not certain the FBI is totally competent with everything, but I’m totally certain that they would not be so incompetent as to put their own agent on the Most Wanted list," Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the committee, told Yahoo News.
The Jan. 6 select committee has been conducting its investigation for nearly seven months, and plans to hold televised, primetime hearings to lay out its findings in the coming months. Raskin said he understood that many Republicans were simply trying to "run out the clock" on the investigation until the midterm election, when many political observers expect the Democrats to lose control of the House and, as a result, the Jan. 6 committee.
For now, though, Raskin, who served as a manager during Trump's second impeachment, sounded confident that the hearings that were soon to commence would have an impact.
"This is the most bipartisan committee I've ever been on, with a great Democratic chair and a great Republican vice chair and what I see is constitutional patriots working every single day and every single evening to get the truth out to the American people before it's too late."