Oct 21, 2021
Jamie Raskin & Matt Gaetz Exchange Over Jan. 6 Capitol Attack Transcript
Rep. Jamie Raskin and Rep. Matt Gaetz had a combative exchange over the January 6 Capitol attack on October 21, 2021. Raskin responded to Gaetz saying “blah blah blah.” Read the transcript of the exchange here.
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Jamie Raskin: (00:00)
I’ve got some serious questions to ask you. The chairman of the January 6th committee, Chairman Thompson, and John Katko, who was the emissary of Kevin McCarthy, negotiated an agreement for an independent outside commission with five Democrats, five Republicans, equal subpoena power, right down the middle. And yet, Donald Trump decided he didn’t like it because he doesn’t want anybody investigating January the sixth. So he turned against it and then the Republican leadership flipped over and turned against it. I think you voted against that commission. Why did you vote against that commission?
Matt Gaetz: (00:37)
For many of the reasons that I’ve discussed today, that the focus on January 6th, the-
Jamie Raskin: (00:41)
So you don’t want to know?
Matt Gaetz: (00:42)
… is unwarranted.
Jamie Raskin: (00:43)
You don’t want to know anymore.
Matt Gaetz: (00:44)
Look, I think we have [crosstalk 00:00:45].
Jamie Raskin: (00:45)
Let me ask you about that.
Matt Gaetz: (00:46)
Mr. Raskin, we have a process in Article Three, where the courts get to determine those issues. If the United States government brings charges, people can resolve those in the courts.
Jamie Raskin: (00:52)
You don’t want to know.
Matt Gaetz: (00:52)
That’s not okay with you guys-
Jamie Raskin: (00:53)
Matt Gaetz: (00:54)
… because you want to politicize it. Because you don’t have-
Jamie Raskin: (00:55)
I know you too well for this, you don’t want to know the answer, you don’t want to know.
Matt Gaetz: (00:59)
[crosstalk 00:00:59] You guys don’t have an answer.
Jamie Raskin: (00:59)
Mr. Gaetz, let me ask you, serious question-
Speaker 3: (01:03)
The stenographer is trying to take people’s words down and she can’t if everybody talks over each other.
Jamie Raskin: (01:09)
Our apologies to the stenographer. We’re going to do it civilly like two lawyers, okay? Mr. Gaetz, let me ask you this. Let’s say that the exact same attack had taken place. Let’s assume, 145 of our officers were beaten in the face with baseball bats, steel pipes, Confederate battle flags, et cetera. Let’s say they interrupted the counting the Electoral College votes for the first time in American history for four or five hours. Let’s say marauders and insurrectionists came into our building and chanted for hanging Vice President Mike Pence. But let’s just change the hypothetical, this one element, Mr. Gaetz. Let’s say it wasn’t the Proud Boys. Let’s say it wasn’t the Oath Keepers. Let’s say it wasn’t the Three Percenters. Let’s say it wasn’t the Aryan Nations. Let’s say it was Al-Qaeda or ISIS. Would you really not want an investigation into what happened with that attack on America?
Matt Gaetz: (02:11)
If Al-Qaeda or ISIS attacked the U.S. Capitol, I would think that the least capable institution to bring them to justice would be this January 6th committee.
Jamie Raskin: (02:20)
You would not want-
Matt Gaetz: (02:21)
I would far prefer the legal process to play out or the military process to play out. If the American people had to rely on the Congress itself as an institution to protect us from ISIS without law enforcement, without the military, we would be in deep, deep trouble.
Jamie Raskin: (02:34)
Okay, is that a new position for you and Mr. Jordan? Because I know you guys-
Matt Gaetz: (02:37)
Well, it’s a new hypothetical.
Jamie Raskin: (02:38)
Yeah, you’ve been involved in a lot of different investigations, both of you. For example, does Benghazi ring a bell?
Matt Gaetz: (02:44)
I was, I believe, a law student at the great William and Mary Law School.
Jamie Raskin: (02:48)
All right. But before I come to Mr. Jordan, let me ask you this, do you think that people who are subpoenaed by a court or by the United States Congress, who think in their head that they might have a privilege or someone else might have a privilege have the right just not to show up?
Matt Gaetz: (03:06)
I believe that people have the right to allow the legal process to resolve whether or not- [crosstalk 00:03:11]
Jamie Raskin: (03:10)
Okay, but you know how that works, Mr. Gaetz, you’re a lawyer, you know how that works. You show up- [crosstalk 00:03:14]
Matt Gaetz: (03:13)
Very much so, you know how it works too.
Jamie Raskin: (03:14)
Wait a second, Mr. Gaetz, wait, hold on. Let’s try to educate the public here.
Matt Gaetz: (03:17)
Jamie Raskin: (03:18)
Because people need to know, if you’re subpoenaed, you go. If you think you have a privilege, for example, let’s say Steve Bannon says, “You know what, I’m guilty as hell. I don’t want to testify against myself.” In America you don’t have to. The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination says, “I plead the Fifth. I might incriminate myself.” But you know what, you got to go. And you got to answer each specific question. Some of them might implicate your Fifth Amendment rights and some of them might not. Even if he thinks he’s got, in some surreal parallel universe, a presidential executive privilege, even though he didn’t even work for the White House at that point, he’d been fired by Donald Trump in August of 2017. This is in January of 2021 and December of 2020. But even if he thought that, he’s got to come before the committee and he has to plead it. Do you not agree with that? [crosstalk 00:04:09] No, honestly, do you not agree with that?
Matt Gaetz: (04:11)
Hold on, now Mr. Raskin, I allowed you to speak and I didn’t interrupt you. I hope I’m given the same opportunity.
Jamie Raskin: (04:14)
Just give me an honest answer.
Matt Gaetz: (04:15)
The honest answer is that the McGahn litigation that you and I both followed closely as members of the Judiciary Committee actually is the path forward. McGahn didn’t have to show up to assert that he was waiting for legal-
Jamie Raskin: (04:26)
The President asserted executive privilege on his behalf [crosstalk 00:04:29]
Matt Gaetz: (04:28)
Hold on, hold on, now you’re the one giving challenges to the stenographers.
Jamie Raskin: (04:32)
No, I’m telling you, wait a second, I’m going to elaborate on your answer here. [crosstalk 00:04:36]
Matt Gaetz: (04:35)
No, but I haven’t even given my full answer yet.
Jamie Raskin: (04:37)
It’s not how it works in the Rules Committee, Mr. Gaetz, just follow this then. The President-
Matt Gaetz: (04:41)
Do I get to respond to these?
Jamie Raskin: (04:42)
Mr. Gaetz, I’m going to give you the chance to respond. Respond to this [crosstalk 00:04:45], President Trump asserted executive privilege [crosstalk 00:04:48] President Trump asserted executive privilege for McGahn. President Biden has not asserted-
Matt Gaetz: (04:53)
I believe there is-
Jamie Raskin: (04:54)
… has not asserted executive privilege.
Matt Gaetz: (04:55)
Yeah, but President Trump has initiated litigation. Look, the reason you all waited on McGahn is because the Russia hoax wasn’t going well for you. And the reason you’re not waiting now is because you have no other legislation-
Jamie Raskin: (05:06)
Okay, all right, blah, blah, blah-
Matt Gaetz: (05:07)
… or other solutions for the country. That’s why-
Jamie Raskin: (05:08)
Okay, all right. Mr. Jordan, let me switch to you.
Matt Gaetz: (05:09)
… you had the McGahn playbook but you’ve ditched it because you guys need January 6th so bad.