Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy "could be hiding two things," according to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Raskin appeared Wednesday night on MSNBC shortly after McCarthy issued a statement lashing out at the committee, and saying he would refuse a request from chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) to voluntarily testify.
"One is, he's hiding from the Trump base, which he's now tried to dive into," Raskin said, noting that McCarthy initially expressed outrage about the insurrection and displayed "some measure of independent critical thinking."
"So he's trying to conceal the fact that he considered at least the violent insurrection part of the day's activities a major threat to human life and limb and to our democracy," Raskin said. "But he also may be trying to hide the fact that he was implicated in the political coup dimension of the day's activities. That is, he may have been totally with the program in terms of trying to get Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally reject electoral college votes invoking essentially lawless powers to do that. So we don't know. This is why we need him to come in, because we have to give a complete accounting to the American people about what took place."
After host Lawrence O'Donnell suggested that McCarthy could face criminal liability related to the Jan. 6 probe, Raskin noted that some of those who conspired to try to overturn the election in Congress were shocked by the actions of rioters who stormed the building.
"What's interesting to me is that there were clearly people who were in on the John Eastman memo, the Green Bay sweep and all of that stuff, the ones who thought they could simply pull the rug out from beneath Joe Biden's majority in the electoral college," Raskin said. "But those people were shocked that perhaps other elements of the Trump operation — which is always huge and sprawling and franchised out to different elements, some more violent and some less violent — that there may have been other people who were intent on simply stopping the vote count, shutting down the Congress."
"And so I don't know exactly where Kevin McCarthy was with respect to that," he added. "I mean, I have my suspicions that he was with the program when it came to trying to do an end run around Joe Biden's electoral college majority and to snatch the election that way ... but I think he was shocked when people were getting injured, killed, police officers getting speared by American flags, beaten over the head with steel pipes and baseball bats."
"A lot of Republicans were outraged on that day," Raskin said. "In other words, they reacted like human beings, and not like the cultish sycophants they have become or returned to being in the wake of Jan. 6."
Watch the full interview below.
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