Democrats voted on Dec. 19 to refer former President Donald Trump for criminal charges in a bid to prevent him running for re-election in 2024.
Members of the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol cast votes for the four referrals during a Monday hearing in Washington. They unanimously voted to refer insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, making a false statement to the federal government, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government to Biden’s corrupt DOJ.
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Theepochtimes.com reports: “Accountability … can only be found in the criminal justice system. We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice and that the agencies and the institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information that we provided to aid in their work,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the panel.
The DOJ and a lawyer for Trump didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The panel also referred other unspecified people to the department.
“Our criminal referrals were based on the gravity of the offense, the centrality of the actors, and the evidence we had available to us,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the panel, told reporters after the hearing. “There were undoubtedly other people involved, but we were stymied by virtue of a lot of people refusing to come and testify, refusing to give us the information they had or taking the Fifth Amendment. So we chose to advance the names of people where we felt certain that there was abundant evidence that they had participated in crimes.”
U.S. law bars insurrection, with the code stating that “whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
One law bars obstruction of official proceedings, starting in part that a person may not “corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law” by Congress.
A third statute forbids people from conspiring to defraud the United States. The code was defined by a Supreme Court justice as “primarily to cheat the Government out of property or money, but it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful governmental functions by deceit, craft or trickery, or at least by means that are dishonest.”
Another law bars making a false statement to the federal government.
If the DOJ follows through with the recommended charges, Trump could face up to 25 years in prison and fines.
Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, said on Newsmax that under separation of powers, Congress doesn’t have the power to recommend prosecution.
Trump was charged with incitement of an insurrection by the U.S. House of Representatives with regard to the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol, but the Senate acquitted Trump in an impeachment trial.
Special counsel Jack Smith, recently appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, is heading two investigations that do or could involve Trump. That includes the probe into whether Trump violated laws by holding certain records at his Mar-a-Lago resort and the investigation into alleged crimes linked to the interference of the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the electoral vote certification held on Jan. 6, 2021.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, ruled in February in civil litigation involving Trump that it was “at least plausible to infer that, when he called on rally-goers to march to the Capitol, the President did so with the goal of disrupting lawmakers’ efforts to certify the Electoral College votes,” and that it was also plausible Trump knew his role “was to encourage the use of force, intimidation, or threats to thwart the Certification from proceeding, and organized groups such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers would carry out the required acts.”
Trump, in a speech at The Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, urged supporters to “fight like hell” and to go to the Capitol, but he also called on people to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
No one has been charged with insurrection in connection with the breach. A subset of those charged have been convicted of or are facing seditious conspiracy charges.
The House Jan. 6 panel is dominated by Democrats; only two Republicans are on the panel, and both were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) proposed a slate of members, but Pelosi rejected two of them, prompting McCarthy to pull the rest from consideration.
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