The U.S. House of Representatives probe into the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol requested that federal prosecutors charge Donald Trump with four offenses, including obstruction, insurrection and conspiracy, in connection to his involvement in the deadly riot.
After more than 1000 witness interviews, and hundreds of thousands upon documents collected by the Justice Department, the Democratic-led Select Committee requested that the Justice Department refer a former president to criminal prosecution. This was the first such referral in American history.
Although the request doesn’t compel federal authorities to act on it, it comes at a time when a special counsel oversees two federal investigations into Trump that are related to his attempt to win the 2020 election and to remove classified files from White House.
A committee requested that the Justice Department indict Trump for four possible felonies, including obstruction of an official proceeding in Congress, conspiracy defrauding the United States, making false statement and aiding insurrection.
An insurrection can be defined as a rebellion against authority by the United States. As he made the announcement, Representative Jamie Raskin (a member of the Democratic select committee) said that it was a serious federal offense.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment. Trump spokeswoman did not reply to our request for comment.
Trump delivered a passionate speech to his supporters at the White House on Jan. 6. He publicly chastised Mike Pence for his insistence that he reject votes cast for Democrat Joe Biden. Trump waited for hours before making a statement. Meanwhile, thousands of Trump supporters ran through Capitol Hill assaulting and threatening to hang Pence.
Monday’s meeting marked the end of an 18-month investigation by the panel of nine members. They probed the extraordinary attempt by Trump supporters to stop peaceful transfers of power. This was prompted by Trump false claims of a widespread fraud that led to his defeat in 2020.
The chairperson of the committee, Representative Bennie Thompson, lashed out at Trump for summoning the mob up to the Capitol. He also criticised him for undermining faith and the democratic system through false claims about fraud.
Our democracy is at risk if the faith is broken. Thompson stated that Donald Trump has broken this faith.
It also stated that it had referred four Republican House members to its ethics committee for not complying with subpoenas during the investigation into the attack.
Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, and Andy Biggs were the other subpoenaed officials. The action was dismissed by Perry, Jordan and Biggs as political stunts. McCarthy’s office didn’t respond to our request for comment.
Republicans who will take over the House in January are not likely to attack their leadership.
Trump is already running a campaign for Republican nomination in order to be re-elected to the White House in 2024.
Five police officers, as well as five others, were killed in the attack. More than 140 other police officers sustained injuries. The Capitol sustained millions of dollars worth of damage.
“Among the most shocking of the findings of this committee was that President Trump watched the violent riots at the Capitol from television in the Oval Office dining room,” stated Representative Liz Cheney. She is one of the two Republicans who served as vice-chairperson of the committee.
Summary of the report by the committee also stated that the panel considered it appropriate to recommend criminal prosecutions against Trump’s close associates, such as attorney John Eastman.
The panel also named Jeffrey Clark (ex-Department of Justice Official), Mark Meadows (ex-White House Chief of Staff) and Rudy Giuliani (two lawyers) as participants in conspiracy theories that were linked to Trump.
Eastman’s attorney responded by praising the committee for being partisan. Reps from the other members did not respond immediately to inquiries for comment, or they declined to comment.
Members of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia, were already found guilty by a jury of sedition in connection to the attack.
Since his departure from office, Trump has been facing a number of legal issues. On Dec. 6, his real estate firm was found guilty of a long-running criminal scheme to defraud the tax authorities.
Trump dismissed all the investigations as being politically motivated. Trump said Monday that any prosecution would be an improperly placed charge twice. This is after being impeached in January last year, but later acquitted by the Senate.
Trump stated on Truth Social that “the Fake Charges made by the Highly partisan Unselect Committee January 6th were already submitted, prosecuted and tried in the Form of Impeachment Hoax #2.”
Trump issued a statement hours into the riot asking protesters to return home. He also told them that he still loved them. Trump then tweeted, “These events and things happen when a sacred victory in an election is so brutally & unceremoniously stripped away.”
A select committee consisting of seven Democrats, two Republicans and one representative from each party approved unanimously the recommendation.
On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee will meet to discuss Trump’s tax returns. They were obtained last month by it after an extensive court battle. Trump is the first presidential candidate to withhold his tax returns in over a decade during his presidential campaigns.