Claims that President Donald Trump was not responsible for the January 6 attack have been mocked by House January 6 committee member Jamie Raskin.
The Democratic Maryland congressman said that the Capitol attack was “not an Agatha Christie novel” during a Friday night interview on MSNBC‘s The 11th Hour. The January 6 committee on Thursday released an 845-page final report on its findings and referred Trump to the Department of Justice for potential criminal prosecution on charges including insurrection, which could legally disqualify the former president and 2024 candidate from holding federal office again.
The committee’s report says that Trump was the “central cause” of the attack, accusing him of launching “a multipart plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election.” Raskin on Friday argued that it was “impossible” to conclude that the violent storming of the Capitol would have occurred without Trump’s incitement, while denouncing baseless claims that “antifa” activists orchestrated the attack instead.
“It’s just impossible to think of any of this happening without Donald Trump being the central instigator of the whole thing,” Raskin said. “If somebody’s got a theory as to why it was really antifa that did it, then bring the evidence forward. But our bipartisan committee found no evidence of involvement by antifa.”
“I don’t know what the other theories are,” he continued. “This is not an Agatha Christie novel, we know exactly whodunit.”
When reached for comment on Raskin’s remarks, a Trump spokesperson referred Newsweek to comments that the former president made in “a new video today about the January 6th Unselect Committee and their report.”
In the video, which was shared to Truth Social hours before Raskin’s MSNBC appearance on Friday, Trump said that the January 6 committee was distributing “lies” as part of a “partisan witch hunt.”
The former president insisted that the committee “did not present a single shred of evidence that I intended or wanted violence at our Capitol,” adding that “the claim is baseless and a monstrous lie.”
“The real story is what the unselect committee did not mention in their fake trial,” said Trump. “Days before the protest I urged the deployment of 10,000 to 20,000 National Guard troops to keep the event safe for all involved … there was no insurrection … it was made up by these sick people.”
“Nancy Pelosi and the D.C. mayor refused,” he continued. “If they’d listened to me, my recommendation, none of this would have happened and you wouldn’t have heard about January 6th as we know it.”
Trump has previously claimed that he requested troops to protect the Capitol on January 6. However, there are no records that indicate the former president actually made the request, according to PolitiFact.
There is also no evidence that Pelosi turned down the supposed request. According to the committee’s report, Paul Irving, who was then serving as the House sergeant-at-arms, did not “like the optics” of calling in the National Guard.
Pelosi, who did not have the power to turn down Trump’s supposed request, was not briefed on the situation and believed that “security professionals were in charge of the security and they were prepared,” according to the report.
Trump also claimed in his Friday video that the committee deliberately excised his calls for “peace” before and during the Capitol riot, citing his January 6 speech at the Ellipse and a tweet he sent while the riot was taking place.
“The committee cut the part of my speech out where I encouraged protesters to ‘make their voices heard, peacefully and patriotically,'” Trump said. “[Republican committee vice chair] Liz Cheney … deliberately omitted the part of my tweet where I told protesters to ‘go home with love and in peace.'”
In fact, both Trump’s comments at the Ellipse and his tweet are mentioned multiple times in the committee’s final report. The tweet appears, in full, on pages 93 and 607. The “peacefully” remark from the Ellipse speech is mentioned on pages 72 and 586.
During the Ellipse speech, the former president also told those in attendance to “demand that Congress do the right thing,” “fight like hell” and “show strength” because “you will never take back our country with weakness.”