US House recommends criminal charges against Trump

The committee held its last public session Monday, marking the end of the panel’s expansive probe into the riot and Trump’s role in the violence…reports Asian Lite News

The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection voted to approve the referral of multiple criminal charges against former US president Donald Trump.

It will be up to the Justice Department whether to indict Trump, but the congressional investigation — with its findings — may help the case against the former president and its final report will be released on Wednesday. According to the panel, Trump was ultimately responsible for the insurrection, laying out for the public and the Justice Department a trove of evidence for why he should be prosecuted for multiple crimes.

The committee held its last public session Monday, marking the end of the panel’s expansive probe into the riot and Trump’s role in the violence.

While the referrals will largely be symbolic in nature — as the panel lacks prosecutorial powers and the DOJ does not need a referral from Congress to investigate crimes — committee members stressed the move serves as a way to document their views. Attorney General Merrick Garland will make the ultimate call on charging decisions.

The summary describes in extensive detail how Trump tried to overpower, pressure and cajole anyone who wasn’t willing to help him overturn his election defeat — while knowing that many of his schemes were unlawful. His relentless arm-twisting included election administrators in key states, senior Justice Department leaders, state lawmakers, and others. The report even suggests possible witness tampering with the committee’s investigation.

The committee repeatedly uses forceful language to describe Trump’s intent that he “purposely disseminated false allegations of fraud” to aid his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and successfully solicit about $250 million in political contributions. “These false claims provoked his supporters to violence on January 6th”, it said.

The full report, based on 1,000-plus interviews, documents collected including emails, texts, phone records and a year and a half of investigation by the nine-member bipartisan committee, will be released Wednesday, along with transcripts and other materials collected in the investigation.

The House committee lays out a number of criminal statutes it believes were violated in the plots to stave off Trump’s defeat and says there’s evidence for criminal referrals to the Justice Department for Trump, Trump attorney John Eastman and “others.”

The report summary says there’s evidence to pursue Trump on multiple crimes, including obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make false statements, assisting or aiding an insurrection, conspiring to injure or impede an officer and seditious conspiracy.

Trump’s false victory was ‘premeditated’. The committee outlines 17 findings from its investigation that underpin its reasoning for criminal referrals, including that Trump knew the fraud allegations he was pushing were false and continued to amplify them anyway.

“President Trump’s decision to declare victory falsely on election night and, unlawfully, to call for the vote counting to stop, was not a spontaneous decision. It was premeditated,” the summary stated.

The select committee is referring several Republican lawmakers, who refused to cooperate with the investigation, to the House Ethics Committee.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona, could all face possible sanctions for their refusal to comply with committee subpoenas.

“If left unpunished, such behavior undermines Congress’s longstanding power to investigate in support of its lawmaking authority and suggests that Members of Congress may disregard legal obligations that apply to ordinary citizens,” the summary added.

After the committee submits its final report – likely to be made public later this week – it is expected to disband as the current US Congress ends its term.

Republicans, who have largely opposed the panel’s work, will hold a narrow majority in the incoming House of Representatives, which is set to take office early in 2023. (ANI)

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