Sep 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 panel "aware" of White House call to rioter, Raskin says

Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks during a hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 12.

Reps. Liz Cheney and Jamie Raskin during a hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in July. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told NBC News on Sunday he's "aware" of a White House switchboard call made to a rioter's phone during the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: Raskin's comments as a member of the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot appear to confirm claims made by former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), who until April was working as a senior technical adviser to the panel.

Driving the news: Riggleman told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday there was "a real a-ha moment" when he saw "that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter's phone" while the Capitol attack was happening.

  • "I only know one end of that call. I don't know the White House end, which I believe is more important. ... The American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more," he told CBS' Bill Whitaker.

What they're saying: "That's one of thousands of details that obviously the committee is aware of," said Raskin on NBC's "Meet the Press" in response to Ringleman's comments.

  • "Our job is to put everything into a comprehensive portrait and narrative timeline of what took place," Raskin continued.
  • "It's interesting, but much less interesting than the fact that Donald Trump told the crowd in public, 'You've got to fight like hell. And if you don't, you're not going to have a country anymore," added Raskin, in reference to comments the former president said at a rally before the riot.
"I can't say anything specific about that particular call, but we are aware of it. And we are aware of lots of contacts between the people in the White House and different people that were involved, obviously, in the coup attempt and the insurrection."
ā€” Rep. Jamie Raskin

Meanwhile, fellow Jan. 6 panel member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) stressed to CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the committee had looked into issues raised by Riggleman during his work with the panel, which he noted "ended quite some time ago."

  • "Without the advantage of the additional information we have gathered since he left the committee, it ... poses real risks to be suggesting things," Schiff said.
  • "We have looked into all of these issues. Some of the information we have found on various issues, we will be presenting it to the public for the first time in the hearing coming up."

Worth noting: Riggleman was speaking with Whitaker ahead of the Tuesday release of his book, "The Breach," about his time as a Jan.6 panel staffer, which the Washington Post notes has "rattled" those on the select committee.

  • The committee in a statement to "60 Minutes" said it "has run down all the leads" that arose from Riggleman's work with the panel, adding he "had limited knowledge of the Committee's investigation."

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