Transcript: Rep. Jamie Raskin on "Face the Nation"

The following is the transcript of an interview with Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland that aired Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, on "Face the Nation."

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm joined now in-studio by Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, who also serves in the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Welcome. Democrats still have a shot here. Although Republicans have the edge in taking the House. What do Americans need to be prepared for what the next two years looks like?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN: Well, first of all, don't count us out. The way we were counted out from the very beginning in this election, they were saying the Republicans were going to pick up 40,50,60 seats, but the party of democracy and freedom and progress for the people held. And so we've had a very impressive election. And we're going to continue to fight for social progress. And we're going to fight for the political rights of the people, which means against gerrymandering, against voter suppression tactics, against manipulative use of the filibuster and the Electoral College to thwart the will of the majority. So we're gonna continue to fight for a strong democracy program.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, it's gonna be hard to legislate though, any way we look at it. I want to ask you about what you're working on with the January 6 committee. Former President Trump's basically going to defy the subpoena you issued. He's planning to announce he's running for the presidency on Tuesday. Is the prime achievement of the January 6th committee simply going to be this written report? You're not appearing to stop him from running.

RASKIN: Well, in a democracy, the people have the right to the truth. And what we withstood was a systematic assault on democratic institutions in an attempt to overthrow a presidential election. So we have set forth the truth in a series of hearings. And we're going to set forth the truth in our final report, along with a set of legislative recommendations about what we need to do to fortify American democracy, against coups, insurrections, electoral sabotage and political violence with domestic violent extremist groups involved. So we're going to put all of that out there.  Look, when-- when I was over in the Senate with the impeachment team, I told the Republicans there that this was our opportunity to deal with the problem of Donald Trump who had committed high crimes and misdemeanors against the people of the United States. And they needed to act on behalf of the country and the Constitution. But if they didn't, he would become their problem. And at this point, Donald Trump is the problem of the Republican Party and he may destroy their party.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  Can you get an Electoral Count Act passed in this lame duck session?

RASKIN: I think we can. That's the bare minimum of what we need to do. It's necessary. It's not remotely sufficient to the task because what we saw in-- in 2021, and earlier in 2020, was a systematic assault on the right to vote in an attempt to steal a presidential election by Donald Trump and attempt to overthrow the constitutional order. So, I think we can reform the Electoral Count Act, passing the legislation that Zoe Lofgren and Liz Cheney have proposed, but that's just one small part of what needs to be done--needs to be done to protect American constitutional democracy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Election deniers didn't prevail in the key battleground, but CBS tallied it and at least 155 House Republicans in the new Congress have raised unfounded doubts about the validity or integrity of the 2020 election. These are going to be your colleagues that you will be working with. What change is that going to affect in the working?

RASKIN: Well, that's a statement about the political contamination of the GOP by Donald Trump. And again, you know, Kevin McCarthy and other leaders within the Republican Party are now required to make a decision about whether they're going to try to rid themselves of Donald Trump and his toxic influence on the party.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But these 155 House Republicans are his constituency, Kevin McCarthy, if he wants to be leader, will need to consider as well –

RASKIN: Yes, it's a real problem for Kevin McCarthy now, because there are certain pro-Trumpists within his House caucus, who refuse to accept that he's really with Trump and they want to get rid of McCarthy. And some of them-- they have names very early in the alphabet, like Biggs. And they might just vote for Trump, when they you know, take the roll call for speaker so we know that the-- the hard right Freedom Caucus people are in search of another candidate and one potential candidate whose name has been floated is Donald Trump himself, because the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of the House. And they are talking about putting Trump right there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's not a real option, though.

RASKIN: Well, they talk about it repeatedly. And if Trump decided he wanted to do it, it would pose a profound problem for their party because they refuse to do the right thing. Early on – I mean, today, it seems like the spell has been broken. It's begun to dissolve. We don't have Republicans around the country claiming that they really won when it's been certified that they lost their elections. And yet there is still this "Big Lie" dogma, which, as you say, has been embraced by 150 members within their caucus. And so that is going to create profound cognitive and political dissonance within the GOP. Is it really Trump's party? Or does it stand for something else? And Liz Cheney, and Adam Kinzinger are going to force that question, they're going to force the Republicans to choose.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Would you urge President Biden in the White House to comply with all these House Republican investigations that have been promised?

RASKIN: Well, the-- obviously everybody's got to comply with the law, such as the law is, you know. We would hope that they would feel chastened by the voters of America who dealt them in historic repudiation. I mean, they were talking about picking up 40 or 50 or 60 seats. We, the Democrats, may indeed win the House the way yesterday, we won the Senate. So it is a repudiation of that kind of right wing, "Big Lie," election-denying character assassination politics that Donald Trump brought right to the heart of the Republican Party.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman, thank you for being here and joining us today. We'll be right back in a moment.

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