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bitchy | The January 6th committee referred Donald Trump for criminal prosecution

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Yesterday, the January 6th select committee had their final public hearing, this time to formalize the findings of their investigation into Donald Trump’s incitement of the January 2021 insurrection and terrorist attack on the Capitol. The hearing was noteworthy and historical without actually surprising anyone – even people who have only paid attention to a fraction of the hearings know that Donald Trump incited the insurrection. More than that, we know that Trump did nothing as his terrorists breached the Capitol and began hunting for VP Pence, senators and members of the House. The select committee has now referred their recommendations to the Department of Justice – they want Trump criminally charged.

The Jan. 6 select committee on Monday voted to formally accuse Donald Trump of four crimes, including assisting an insurrection, in his bid to subvert the transfer of presidential power to Joe Biden.

The panel contended that its evidence proved Trump provided “aid and comfort” to a mob that was ransacking the Capitol in service of his attempts to reverse his loss in 2020. It also said Trump could be charged with obstructing Congress’ Jan. 6 joint session, conspiracy to make false statements to the National Archives and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The panel has long contended Trump broke the law. But its new report — which the committee voted to release but has yet to become public — is expected to add vivid new details of that effort, particularly about the cast of enablers who facilitated Trump’s gambit, from Republican members of Congress to a team of lawyers pushing fringe legal theories to shadowy operatives awash in conspiracies. The panel also released the 160-page executive summary of its report, capturing the contours of its case against Trump.

The recommended referral for insurrection mentions U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling in February, which said Trump’s language plausibly incited violence on Jan. 6 and cited the Senate’s 57 votes in last year’s impeachment trial to convict Trump on “incitement of insurrection.”

Charging decisions rest entirely with DOJ prosecutors, not Congress, but panel members have increasingly stressed the impact their transmission to the department could have on public opinion — viewing it as part of building a historical record around the attack. Special Counsel Jack Smith is currently conducting a wide-ranging investigation of Trump’s scheme to cling to power, and the select panel has also moved in parallel with DOJ’s effort to prosecute hundreds of Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol.

[From Politico]

“Panel members have increasingly stressed the impact their transmission to the department could have on public opinion…” It’s true, and it’s true that the Garland DOJ is gonna do whatever they’re gonna do independent of the pressures the select committee places on them. For what it’s worth, Merrick Garland doesn’t seem like the kind of man who will be swayed by political pressure either way, but there were indications that the select committee found more evidence than the DOJ had, and that the committee and Justice were sharing a lot of information. I wish Justice would just charge Trump and I’ve been disappointed with how long it’s taking to criminally charge Trump specifically for the insurrection. But I acknowledge that Garland has a plan. I hope.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.



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