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Donald Trump

Donald Trump's January 6 'Indictment Problem' is Everyone's: Panel's Bombshell Endgame Report Could Change Everything We Know about Democracy

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Sep. 21 2022, Published 10:53 a.m. ET

The House panel investigating the January 6 Capitol riots from 2021 is reconvening next week.

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After over a month of hiatus, the hearings will resume on September 28. But what follows could well change the way the US handles the protection of democracy - and could land a former President in prison.

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The January 6 Panel's Final Report Could Recommend Criminal Charges - but it Almost Doesn't Matter

When the panel reconvenes for public hearings on September 28, they're coming back with mountains of new evidence.

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Over 40 subpoenas were handed out to allies of former President Donald Trump this month alone, and hundreds of documents and witness statements have been compiled during the "break."

When they wrap up their hearings, the January 6 panel will draft a recommendation to the Department of Justice - and most experts believe that recommendation may include a suggestion for criminal charges against Trump and perhaps several of his allies.

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Whether or not the DOJ decides to indict the president criminally will depend entirely on their own investigation, but Attorney General Merrick Garland has already said that they are watching the hearings closely - after all, they're gathering information too.

But the suggestion to indict and what follows next could change the entire landscape of Democracy in the United States.

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And if you're Trump, the January 6 panel is increasingly a problem. The former POTUS is beset by legal woes from every angle, but what the January 6 panel could recommend to the Department of Justice could well be the most perilous of all for the former president.

Mishandling of declassified documents, violating the espionage act, fraud, sexual assault - these are all legal issues Trump is currently facing from a number of directions.

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But insurrection, sedition - they're game-changers. Not just for Trump, but for the entire country.

Changing Democracy to Protect It

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For one, if the panel finds that there was a criminal conspiracy of insurrection, sedition, or any number of things that signal a criminal attempt by Trump and his stalwarts, they will be forced to start drafting new policy.

This policy will answer the danger posed by attempted insurrection as it allegedly played out on January 6.

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They'll be forced to reckon with a system that allowed the former President's allies (if not the former POTUS himself) to gather a violent mob on the grounds of one of the government's most hallowed institutions, in an attempt to stop the lawful transfer of power by overturning the duly elected votes from being certified.

It's an unimaginable situation and the implications are extraordinary - Democracy in the United States is at far greater risk than many would have supposed two years ago, or even a year and a half ago.

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And the January 6 panel will need their colleagues in Congress to begin addressing that danger.

It is expected that the Republican party will pick up seats in the House and possibly the Senate after the midterms, and those new congresspeople will be seated for their job with the turn of the new year.

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That leaves the current Congress very little time to enact laws they believe may be necessary to safeguard Democracy, so the January 6 panel will likely wish to wrap up soon, send their recommendation to the DOJ, and get to work on what's next.

What the "next" looks like remains to be seen, but something will have to change if they find criminal liability and recommend charges to the DOJ - after all, looking the other way would no longer be an option at that point.

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