Representative Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, said Sunday that former president Donald Trump “had to have known he was spreading a big lie” about the 2020 election.
His comments came during an interview with CNNjust days after the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 began its public hearings, and said it would detail Trump’s actions on that violent day.
During his interview, State of the Union host Dana Bash asked about the committee’s next public hearing, which Raskin is a member of, that is scheduled for Monday.
“It’s going to focus on misinformation and election fraud,” Bash said. “Your committee says that Trump ‘purposely’ spread false information. Can you prove that Donald Trump knew he lost while he was publicly saying that he won?”
“I think we can prove to any reasonable open minded person that Donald Trump absolutely knew because he was surrounded by lawyers … telling him in no uncertain terms, in terms that Donald Trump could understand, ‘This is BS,'” the Democratic lawmaker responded.
“He heard it from the White House counsel, he heard it from all of the lawyers who threatened to resign if he staged his little mini-coup against the Department of Justice by installing someone that would go along with his fairy tale about there having been electoral fraud and corruption, “Raskin added.
During the January 6 panel’s first public hearing on Thursday, GOP Representative Liz Cheneywho is the vice chair of the committee, said it would reveal how Trump planned to “corruptly” replace the US attorney general “so the US Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims.”
“In the days before January 6, President Trump told his top Justice Department officials, ‘Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen,'” she said.
During his interview, Raskin added: “I think any reasonable person in America will tell you, [Trump] had to have known he was spreading a big lie and he continues to spread it to this very day, he continues to foist that propaganda on his followers. “
Responding to the committee’s first public hearing, Trump blasted the panel.
“So the Unselect Committee of political HACKS refuses to play any of the many positive witnesses and statements, refuses to talk of the Election Fraud and Irregularities that took place on a massive scale, and decided to use a documentary maker from Fake News ABC to spin only negative footage, “Trump said in a statement posted on his social media platform, TruthSocial. The committee brought on former ABC News executive James Goldston to help produce the televised hearings.
Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s press office for comment.