Raskin: Trump ‘absolutely’ knew he lost 2020 election

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Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the special House Jan. 6 committee, said on Sunday the panel has the evidence to prove that former President Donald Trump knew he lost the 2020 election.

The Maryland Democrat told host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the committee's first hearing on the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol “pierced the sound barrier,” and he hopes Americans continue paying attention to the evidence the committee brings forth. More than 20 million viewers tuned in to the hearing on Thursday night. The next hearing is Monday morning.

“I think we can prove to any reasonable, open-minded person that Donald Trump absolutely knew because he was surrounded by lawyers,” Raskin said. “I think any reasonable person in America will tell you, he had to have known he was spreading a ‘Big Lie.’ He continues to spread it to this very day. He continues to foist that propaganda on his followers.”

The committee also has enough evidence to prove that several Republican members of Congress sought pardons from Trump after the assault on the Capitol, Raskin said.

“The seeking of pardons is a powerful demonstration of the consciousness of guilt, or at least the consciousness you may be in trouble,” he told Bash. “That’s what’s so shocking about this. It’s not just one.”

Raskin said the committee will release further details about who sought a pardon “in due course.”

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Jan. 6 panel, reiterated that the committee "will show the evidence that we have that members of Congress were seeking pardons."

"To me, I think that is some of the most compelling evidence of a consciousness of guilt. Why would members do that if they felt that their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate?" he said. "So, we'll present the evidence that we have, as the vice chair outlined, along with the evidence of other actions that were taken by members of the Congress."

On Thursday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said that Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) was one of the lawmakers who contacted the White House to seek a pardon. Perry was a major actor in Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, connecting Trump with Jeffrey Clark, an official in the Justice Department who supported Trump’s efforts, according to testimony and documents obtained by the committee.

Perry has denied the accusation, calling it a “shameless and soulless lie.”

Following the hearing, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to Twitter to ask Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida if they sought pardons.

On Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez told Bash that “every single member of Congress” should be able to answer if they asked for a pardon or not.