Jamie Raskin Says He 'Demolished' Trump Lawyers, But Can't Reason With 'Religious Cult'

Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said on Sunday he "demolished" former President Donald Trump's legal defense team, but at the end of the day, there is no reasoning with members of a religious cult. He described the effort of he and the other House impeachment managers as a resounding success in both "the court of opinion and the court of history."

Asked by Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on why he declined to call witnesses or pursue a dereliction of duty charge, Raskin said Senate Republicans "would have found some way to acquit" no matter what case was presented. The Democratic Maryland congressman said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's scathing speech against Trump just moments after voting to acquit him was revealing of how much hypocrisy Republicans were willing to stack up in order to get Trump off the hook.

Raskin quipped: "I'd have had [McConnell] on the impeachment manager's team in the way he presented that. Except, then he went back to the completely counterfeit argument that the Senate couldn't conduct the trial of Trump's impeachment, although he was impeached during his presidency for acts committed during his presidency."

"I thought that I successfully demolished [Trumps' lawyers arguments] during the trial. But there's no reasoning with people who basically are acting like members of a religious cult and when they leave office should be selling flowers at Dulles Airport," Raskin continued. "[They think in a] cultish and dangerous way."

The lead House impeachment manager reiterated that he believes the trial put forth to the public was a "complete repudiation" of Trump's behavior which ultimately led to the January 6 Capitol riot. He highlighted that 17 Republicans, 10 from the House, and seven from the Senate, realized the former president is still trying to "wage war on American constitutional democracy."

"It was a dramatic success in historical terms, it was the largest impeachment conviction vote in U.S. history, and it was by far the most bipartisan majority in the Senate to convict," Raskin said, noting that it's been difficult to explain to foreign journalists why Trump was acquitted with a 57-to-43 vote in favor of conviction (a two-thirds majority is needed under the constitutional framework for impeachment).

Raskin pushed back on several hypothetical scenarios put forth by Todd on how he may have been able to win a conviction. He again stated that logical arguments were not going to work against a bunch of GOP lawyers who pretended to have no awareness of Trump's overwhelming guilt.

"Remember these Republicans who voted to acquit in the face of this mountain of evidence were going to find some reason to do it," Raskin told Todd on Sunday. "We could have had a thousand witnesses but that could not have overcome the kinds of silly arguments that people like McConnell and Caputo were hanging their hats on. If we'd charged dereliction of duty they would've said: 'That's not an impeachable offense. You've got to deal with that within a military system. The president is not bound by the Code of Universal Military Justice.' And so on."

Raskin chuckled at McConnell and other Republicans offering scathing remarks about Trump and wanting to "have it both ways" after the trial. He said the Republicans who voted to acquit were clearly trying to "disentangle" themselves from the former president.

"We have no regrets at all. We left it totally out on the floor of the U.S. Senate and every senator knew exactly what had happened, even go back and listen to McConnell's speech," he concluded.

Newsweek reached out to Raskin's office as well as representatives for Trump Sunday morning.

jamie raskin impeachment manager trump
Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said he "demolished" former President Donald Trump's legal defense team, but at the end of the day, there is no reasoning with members of a religious cult. Screenshot: YouTube | Meet the Press