Pascrell: Trump Knowing Rioters were Armed Most Damning Piece of Evidence

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., (D-CD-9) is confident that former President Donald Trump will eventually face consequences resulting from the January 6 Committee hearings.  He credited the Committee’s value, in part, to its chair.

“I think that Congressman Benny Thompson from Mississippi, who is the chairman of that committee, and who I served with on Homeland Security, is the most competent person for that particular job,” Pascrell told Insider NJ.

Pascrell praised his Mississippi counterpart for his organization and methodical approach to the committee’s operations, building up a case against the former president for his role in the attack on the Capitol building last January in the lead-up to President Biden’s inauguration.  The insurrection, led by Trump loyalists seeking to prevent the certification of the 2020 election, left 5 people dead and scores injured, as well as causing property damage to the Capitol itself.

“Thompson’s done a great job because he’s laid everything out with the words of the perpetrators, and those who are near,” Pascrell said.  For the congressman, he is confident that there’s little question as to Trump’s culpability.  “When you use their words I think it’s an open-and-shut case. So I hope that they give a sterling report to the Justice Department, and that the Justice Department does its job. I think the Committee is doing a great job.”

Pascrell has been a hot critic of Trump and the Trump administration from the beginning of the former president’s term.  He has continued to slam several Trump-era appointees, most recently repeating his call for IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to resign, saying, “Mr. Rettig’s continued presence at the IRS will only deplete already flagging public confidence in our tax system. No one with a straight face can believe the auditing of Mr. Trump’s enemies was a random act of God.  President Biden should remove Rettig immediately so we can begin the work of installing a capable leader at the top of the IRS.”

Amid a rainy Monday morning, the congressman spoke at the Paterson Fire Headquarters, whose building bears his name thanks to federal dollars which went towards its construction, he received an endorsement from the NJ Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association for his re-election bid.  Standing beside Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, Fire Chief Brian McDermott, and NJFMBA President Eddie Donnelly, Pascrell swore to keep fighting for the fire departments in the district in particular and across the nation.  Pascrell has also kept a keen eye on the January 6 Committee proceedings, which he regards as protecting democracy, offering an optimistic outlook to Insider NJ as to its performance thus far.

Although many politicos and Americans in general wonder, given the dangerously polarized state of the country, whether former President Trump will actually see any consequences as a result of the Committee hearings, Pascrell believes that he will.  That, of course, will be a matter for the Justice Department to undertake.  With Trump perpetually dangling the prospect of a re-election campaign, it is likely that he will attempt to define the Committee hearings or any future Justice Department indictment, as a political stunt to spin a sense of illegitimacy, regardless of the fact that the Committee hearings have been underway for months already.

When asked if there was a particular piece of evidence above others which were particularly damning against Trump’s role in the failed insurrection, Pascrell referred to the testimony which alleged that then-President Trump knew the rioters were armed before the attack.  “‘Why should I worry about the weapons? They aren’t out to harm me.’  What about the rest of us?” Pascrell asked, as members of congress were, indeed, targeted by the rioters who stormed Speaker Pelosi’s office and called for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence.  “That put the coating on it.”

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