Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee were heard laughing at comments made by Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland after he claimed that the January 6 committee does not engage in partisan politics.
On Wednesday, at a House Judiciary Committee markup, Raskin and other members of the committee were debating a bill that would allow notifications to be sent to nearby cellphones when an active shooter was in the vicinity. Republicans were offering amendments to the bill, known as the Active Shooter Alert Act of 2022. Raskin then accused the Republican members of politicizing the Judiciary Committee’s work, saying that he was on a committee which never politicized and got real work done — the January 6 committee.
“It doesn’t have to be like this because I actually serve on a bipartisan committee that gets things done. And that is not obsessed with partisan polemics and invective and denunciation and combat. And sees every piece of legislation is an opportunity to just club the other side. And that is the January 6th select committee,” Raskin said, before laughter could be heard from the other occupants of the room.
“Well, I appreciate the laughter of my colleagues because some people have accused us of being partisan because all of our witnesses are Republicans,” Raskin said in response.
“You might not have noticed that, but then you might not be allowed to watch the hearings and you can see attorney general Barr there, you can see Mr. Stepien, who’s Donald Trump’s campaign manager and so on.”
“But the truth of the matter is that this committee is a bipartisan committee. You perhaps would laugh at your Republican colleagues. I wouldn’t laugh at Liz Cheney who was elected as the chair of the House Republican conference and was the number three member of the conference. I wouldn’t laugh at Adam Kinzinger who’s a member of the national guard reserve and a distinguished member of the House of Representatives, but in any event, you’re entitled to your laughter,” Raskin said.
The avid defense of the committee’s bipartisanship comes after a New York Times article in which Democrats admit that they hope to use the hearings to their political advantage, spurring on the support of the American people.
“With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings…to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it,” The New York Times wrote. The article featured interviews with New York Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney and Hakeem Jeffries, both Democrats.
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