Donald Trump Lashes Out and Flails Furiously as House Panel Votes on Recommending Criminal Charges Including Insurrection
Today, the House panel investigating the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 met to vote on recommending criminal
Today, the House panel investigating the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 met to vote on recommending criminal charges to cohorts of Donald Trump and the former POTUS.
The panel first acknowledged (via Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)) that they are not prosecuting the minutiae, but focusing on holding leaders of the insurrection accountable.
The first charge they recommend criminal recommendations on is “obstruction of an official proceeding.” Raskin explained that this statute makes it, “unlawful for anyone to corruptly obstruct, influence, or impede any official proceeding of the United States government.”
Raskin says that they believe that the evidence “warrants a criminal referral” of Donald Trump, John Eastman and others for violating that statute.
Second, the panel recommends charges to Trump, Eastman and others on “charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.” Raskin explained, “This statute makes it a crime to conspire to defraud the United States.”
The third charge the House panel found cause to recommend charges on is “conspiracy to make a false statement.” This statute makes it unlawful to knowingly and willingly make materially false statements to the federal government. Raskin says that “the evidence clearly suggests” that former President Trump conspired with others to submit fake electors.
And in a stunning and surprise move, the House panel also recommended charges for Trump saying that he chose to “incite” “assist” or “aid or comfort” an insurrection. This is by far the greatest charge, and it shows the House panel took their recommendation seriously. If found guilty, Trump would be barred from ever holding public office again.
The recommendations were made by unanimous vote of the panel.
Raskin did, however, acknowledge that it’s up to the Department of Justice to make those criminal charges official (or not) – they simply make a referral based on their evidence, and send the DOJ what they’ve uncovered.
The final report of the House panel with their criminal recommendations will now be sent to the Department of Justice.
Donald Trump Pulls Old Twitter Posts in Attempt to Defend his Actions on January 6
The former POTUS has been under fire since the middle of last week. He teased a “major announcement” which turned out to be twofold.
The first part of it was a series of digital trading cards in the form of NFTs.
These bizarre digital cards were blasted and mocked, but they may now be the source of a legal headache for Trump.
Users reverse image searched many of the images included in the trading deck and found that they came from small clothing websites, Amazon and other sources.
It’s unclear whether the images were edited by hand or run through an AI generator, but for many images the only thing that was changed was the color, or they added the word “Trump” and the former President’s photoshopped head.
Buried under the lede of the NFTs was the second part of Trump’s announcement: his agenda protecting free speech, should he be re-elected in 2024.
Trump was capitalizing on the momentum happening over on Twitter, where Elon Musk’s free speech crusade was growing in popularity among conservatives. Since then, Musk has found himself running afoul of his fellow investors and may soon step down as CEO. But Trump’s crusade in favor of “free speech” remains.
Once news broke that the House panel would be recommending criminal charges this week, Trump began lashing out on Truth Social.
Trump wrote over the weekend, “The highly partisan Unselect Committee is illegally leaking confidential info to anyone that will listen. Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff is all over T.V. talking about Criminal Referrals, just like he was on the Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax, which turned out to be the con of the century. How much longer are Republicans, and American Patriots in general, going to allow this to happen. These are the Criminals who spied on my campaign, cheated on the Election, lied to FISA Court & Congress. They are SICK!”
He later added, “The real criminals are the people who are destroying our once great Country!”
Yesterday, Trump posted screenshots to Truth of two posts from Twitter that he made on January 6, 2021.
The first one read, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”
The second screenshot read, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No Violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the law and our great men and women in Blue! Thank You!”
Trump captioned the images, “These two very important tweets have been uncovered now that my account, which was shut down by the FBI, has been reinstated!”
Yesterday, a frustrated and furious Trump seemed to snap and posted on Truth, “I’M JUST FIGHTING TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY!”
This morning, Trump thanked a Twitter user for pulling up an old Twitter post of Trump’s that included a video of him encouraging January 6 rioters to go home. It was part of the former POTUS’s attempt to remind people that he did tell people to leave – hours after the riots started, and after things had already begun winding down.
Trump also famously said to the insurrectionists, “we love you.”
What Happens Now?
We owe every single member of the January 6 Committee a thank you. No one is above the law, and the people who threaten our democracy must be held accountable. https://t.co/jvO4hAnLW7— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) December 19, 2022
Now, the House will send their recommendations to the Department of Justice.
Although they will include all of their evidence and the body’s vote, it doesn’t hold any legal weight.
The Department of Justice is already running their own investigation of the events of January 6, and it is to that investigation that they will defer when deciding whether or not to charge anyone. Special Counsel Jack Smith already appears to be looking into the conduct the House panel has been investigating.
However, the House’s recommendation isn’t useless.
In fact, it’s unprecedented. The only other time the country came close to a recommendation like this from Congress was during the Nixon era – but the President resigned and was subsequently pardoned before any criminal recommendations could be sent.
So despite the fact that the House can’t actually criminally charge Trump or his cohorts, it’s an important step towards holding him accountable for his actions (and inactions) surrounding January 6.
Now, future Presidents who want to act in bad faith are on notice that Congress will investigate and recommend criminal charges where applicable.
It’s a shot across the bow – one former President Donald Trump hears clearly.