U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) has once again achieved “national treasure” and “hero” status to the many Americans who watched his unrelenting destruction of Republican talking points and conspiracy theories about the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, on which he serves.
Congressman Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, was the lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of Donald Trump, and has repeatedly been the subject of praise for his passionate defense of democracy.
On Wednesday, as many were focused on the New York Attorney General’s announcement of a civil fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, other Trump associates and several of the former president’s businesses, and still others focused on President Joe Biden’s historic speech before the United Nations, Congressman Raskin was sitting in a House Judiciary Committee hearing fielding a conspiratorial question from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), as Mediaite reported.
Massie is perhaps best known for his conspiracy theories, along with his Christmas photo he posted of him, his wife, and their children, all photographed holding assault rifles.
Raskin’s destruction of GOP conspiracy theories and talking points started with Massie dredging up Ray Epps. Mediate explains the background:
“The theory holds that Epps was acting as an agent provocateur working for the deep state who was at the Capitol to rile up supporters of Donald Trump and get them to cause mayhem. Trump himself held a rally that morning and encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol as the 2020 presidential election was being certified by members of Congress. The former president falsely claimed the election was stolen from him.”
Raskin wasn’t having it.
Massie claimed they “were told” a transcript of the January 6 Committee’s interview with Epps “would be released, but it’s never been released.”
Raskin blasted Massie in response.
“None of the transcripts have been released so you don’t need a conspiracy theory about that,” he replied. “We’ve done more than a thousand interviews. You guys are trying to make this poor schmuck who showed up to your protest into something a lot bigger than he is. He’s just trying to survive and he’s on your side. You don’t have many voters left, you might want to try to hang on to them without demonizing and vilifying your own people.”
Raskin was unrelenting.
“That’s the Donald Trump way. Sell everybody else down the road. Unless you can get a pardon,” Raskin continued. “Most people have opened their eyes about what he’s done to our country. What he’s done to his family.”
Raskin: You guys are trying to make this poor schmuck who showed up to your protest into something a lot bigger than he is. He’s just trying to survive and he’s on your side. You don’t have many voters left, you might want to try to hang on to them pic.twitter.com/CI3axaF7uP
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 21, 2022
But the back-and-forth did not end there.
Congressman Raskin took Massie on a walk through recent history over the creation of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Blasting House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Raskin said, “After we went back and conveyed our agreement to the GOP proposal,” about the formation of a committee to investigate the January 6 attack, “it was vetoed by the fourth branch of government,” meaning Donald Trump, who Raskin has previously referred to in that manner.
“It was vetoed by the cult leader, Donald Trump, who said he wanted no investigation at all! That’s your guy! Donald Trump, he said he wanted no investigation. And so, you pulled the plug on the investigation you originally advocated because Donald Trump didn’t want it. Let’s tell some truth! You’re talking about the truth? I’m giving you the truth! I’m giving you the facts about it!”
“And then when Speaker Pelosi said, ‘well in that case the House of Representatives will conduct our own investigation,’ then, again, you guys boycotted because you wanted to put pro-insurrection members on the committee. And so, we ended up with a bipartisan committee of people really interested in getting the facts,” Raskin reminded Massie.
“And you know what? This is what you guys can’t stand: America listened to it because we had real congressional hearings,” he said proudly, noting that “25, 30 million Americans [were] watching because we told the truth about Donald Trump’s assault on democratic institutions and the right to vote in America.”
Raskin launched in to a near-rendition of the courtroom scene in “A Few Good Men,” declaring, “maybe you can’t handle the truth, but that’s the reality and nobody’s laid a glove on any of the testimony that has come out during those hearings.”
“So, we hear this absurd whining about ‘Ray Epps,’ who has absolutely nothing to do with any of it. And all of these conspiracy theory allegations have been debunked – up and down. Up and down! You think you’ve got something? Bring him in and talk to him or send us a letter. But why don’t you deal with the reality of the situation?”
Raskin: You pulled the plug on the investigation you originally advocated because Donald Trump didn’t want it. Let’s tell some truth! You’re talking about truth, I’m giving you the truth! pic.twitter.com/QY0jJiSKTI
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 21, 2022
Once again, Raskin is receiving high praise for his defense of democracy.
Noted political scientist Norm Ornstein declared Raskin a “national treasure.”
Journalist, author, Emmy-Award winning producer Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, responded to the video by saying, “Damn, I love this. It’s so good.” Rep. Raskin is “speaking truth to power and the other side can’t handle it.”
Podcaster and political commentator Brian Tyler Cohen called it an “absolute masterclass by Jamie Raskin.”
Mary Trump, also a podcaster and relative of the former president called Raskin “the best congressman we have.”
Journalist, CEO, and foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst David Rothkopf said he’s “Always so grateful” that Raskin “is a member of our Congress.”
Award-winning screenwriter, film-and-television producer and director Mark Frost says “Raskin is an American hero. This is thrilling stuff; you couldn’t WRITE a better speech and he’s winging it.”
Social media influencer and former NBA player Rex Chapman called Rep. Raskin “a superstar.”
Van Badham, Australian writer and columnist for The Guardian (Australia), pointing to a clip of Raskin offered this summation: “If you’re unfamiliar with Jamie Raskin; this is a man who has survived cancer, January 6 and the tragic death of his adult son. He’s someone whose shown a strength of character and personal resilience that puts him far beyond anything the Republicans could try to lay on him.”
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Texas AG Ken Paxton’s office “dysfunctional” with child porn and shady political dealings
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is running for a third term in office while facing civil and criminal fraud charges for allegedly handly sketchy trade deals, giving office positions to donors, and trying to overturn the 2020 election.
However, a new Associated Press (AP) story paints Paxton’s office as highly political and dysfunctional.
Paxton’s office botched “Operation Fallen Angel,” an investigation that indicted six men on allegations of forcing teen girls to “exchange sexual contact for crystal methamphetamine.” Paxton’s office largely dropped the charges because they lost track of their key witness.
Another prosecutor said he quit Paxton’s office in January after supervisors pressured him to withhold evidence in a murder case, the AP wrote.
Eight of Paxton’s top deputies quit or were fired in autumn 2020 after they went to the FBI to accuse Paxton of using his office to help a donor who had employed a woman that Paxton admitted to having an extramarital affair with. The FBI’s investigation is ongoing.
The AP story notes that Paxton gave a senior role to a California attorney who gave him $10,000 to fight his 2015 securities fraud indictment. Paxton also hired Tom Gleason, a former police officer whose father donated $50,000 to Paxton’s legal defense. Gleason was given a job advising Paxton on child exploitation as well as Medicaid and voter fraud.
Gleason was fired less than two months into his new job. Paxton’s office didn’t explain why, but “three people with knowledge of the matter” told the AP that, during a work presentation at the agency’s Austin headquarters, Gleason played a video of “a man raping a small child” to highlight the difficult work facing child abuse investigators.
“It was met with outrage and caused the meeting to quickly dissolve,” the AP wrote. “Afterward, Paxton’s top deputy, Brent Webster, told staff not to talk about what happened.”
The AP also wrote that before Texas’ March primary elections, Amber Platt, a deputy over criminal justice cases, held a meeting asking lawyers in Paxton’s offices about which upcoming cases that would best help his reelection chances.
Despite all this, Paxton has a five-point lead over his Democratic opponent, Rochelle Garza.
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