The upcoming televised hearing Tuesday by the Jan. 6 panel will explosively expose Donald Trump’s White House meeting in 2020 with “Team Crazy” that began to set in motion the violence of last year’s insurrection, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” Raskin called Trump’s Oval Office huddle on Dec. 18, 2020, with his former attorney Rudy Giuliani, wild conspiracy theorist lawyer Sidney Powell, and extremist retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn the “craziest meeting” of his entire presidency.
The trio and other outside lawyers — derided as “Team Crazy” in and around the White House, said Raskin — urged several new courses of action, including the “seizure of voting machines around the country,” he explained. The following night Trump sent out a tweet calling for Americans to flood the Capitol to protest the election he lost. “Be there. Will be wild,” he promised. Raskin, a member of the Jan. 6 panel who will be a lead questioner on Tuesday, said it was Trump who picked Jan. 6 last year as the showdown date. “Donald Trump was, of course, the central figure who set everything into motion,” he added. The “explosive effects” of that tweet resulted in the “mobilization of an armed, violent mob” that was part of Trump’s bid to “overthrow” the election, Raskin told news host Robert Costa. It was the “first time in American history when a president of the United States called a protest against his own government, in fact, to try to stop the counting of Electoral College votes in an election he had lost,” Raskin summed up. It’s “absolutely unprecedented ... nothing like that had ever happened before,” he said. “It makes the Watergate break-in look like the work of Cub Scouts,” he added. Raskin called Trump’s actions the “greatest political offense against the union by a president of the United States in our history. Nothing comes close to it,” he noted. He indicated to Costa that there would not be an eyewitness account from inside the meeting. But he suggested that White House staff and lawyers had revealed details of wild plans that Trump and his fringe team aimed to implement. At that time, White House officials were trying to convince Trump to accept his defeat, explaining that investigations revealed no substance to claims of election fraud. Trump, in response, turned to the most extreme plans of action, said Raskin. It appeared that a lengthy deposition Friday by Trump’s former White House counsel Pat Cipollone would play a key role in what’s presented Tuesday. “We’re going to get to use a lot of Mr. Cipollone’s testimony to corroborate other things we’ve learned along the way,” Raskin explained Sunday. “He was the White House counsel at the time. He was aware of every major move ... that Donald Trump was making to try to overthrow the 2020 election and essentially seize the presidency.”