Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said it was suspicious and unusual to find a seven-hour gap in White House phone records that were turned over to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.
The Democratic congressman, who is a member of the committee, told “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the panel still doesn’t have a full understanding of former President Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the attack.
“Well, it’s a very unusual thing for us to find that suddenly everything goes dark for a seven-hour period in terms of tracking the movements and the conversations of the president,” Raskin said.
“We are aware of other phone calls that took place during that time that included the president,” he said. “But we have no comprehensive, fine-grained portrait of what was going on during that period, and that’s obviously of intense interest to us.”
CBS News and The Washington Post obtained documents last week showing a gap of seven hours and 37 minutes on Trump’s phone logs that were part of internal White House records submitted to the January 6 committee. The panel is now investigating whether he used a “burner phone,” a disposable phone that prevents contacts from being traced. Trump responded to the report saying he had never heard of the phrase “burner phone.”
Raskin said the committee is also considering the possibility that the hours-long gap was the result of incompetence rather than conspiracy.
“We’re taking that possibility into account. It does seem like the gaps are suspiciously tailored to the heart of the events, but we’re checking that out,” Raskin said.
The committee is working to find potential connections between the violent mob that left multiple people dead and injured more than 100 police officers and what Raskin described as an “inside coup,” which he said was orchestrated by Trump against the constitutional system.
Raskin said he hopes the panel will eventually present a complete picture of what took place on January 6, what led to it and “then what we need to do as a country to fortify democratic institutions and processes against future insurrections and coups and attempts to destabilize and overthrow our elections.”
Public hearings before the January 6 committee could begin as early as May, he said.