This article was contributed to Shepherd Express courtesy of Random Lengths News, a progressive media organization affiliated with a national network of alternative newspapers.
As the House Jan. 6 Committee prepares to release its final report, the threat to American democracy is far greater than that of former President Donald Trump and will survive whatever happens to him. It has become clearer than ever to do. Still, it’s very significant that the committee filed four criminal charges against Trump on behalf of the Justice Department. A conspiracy to deceive the United States; a conspiracy to make false statements, and “agitation”, “aid”, or “aid and comfort” is an insurrection. Attorney John Eastman was the one who provided the bogus legal theories Trump relied on, and he was also mentioned in the first three cases.
As panel member Jaime Ruskin noted in introducing a referral, a U.S. federal judge has already ruled that Trump and Eastman “probably violated two criminal statutes.” This is the starting point for today’s analysis. ”
Additionally, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and three other Republican lawmakers were referred to sanctions by the House Ethics Committee for failing to comply with subpoenas of the investigation.
The week before, Ruskin, who was also the lead impeachment manager, explained the idea of the indictment:
Clearly, we need a wealth of evidence, more than enough evidence, to believe that this crime was committed. We would like to identify the key players in the operation. That the crimes we are committing are of sufficient scale and gravity that the United States Congress should be prosecuted for them.
Additional charges may apply
In addition to the charges mentioned, the executive summary of the commission’s final report cites two conspiracy laws under which Trump could be indicted, depending on evidence developed by the Justice Department. A conviction for Keepers has already been obtained.
Republicans have tried to ignore or discredit the commission’s investigations, but the overwhelming majority of witnesses, including the central ones, were Republicans. The full list of witnesses, released by live call or video, includes 59 Republicans, 1 Democrat, and 26 of his “others,” including 6 police officers and 8 rioters. It was Here’s a summary of what they found.
road of proof
The committee revealed that beginning with the first hearing of the year, on June 9, Trump was repeatedly told by his closest advisers that he hadn’t cheated and that he lost. . President Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr said in a deposition that he “made it clear that he does not agree with the idea of releasing something like this saying the election was stolen. The president said it was bullshit.” Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, said Barr’s remarks “affected the way I look at it,” adding, “I respect Attorney General Barr. So I take what he says. I did.”
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A parade of other witnesses from the Trump administration and campaign made similar statements at various hearings, particularly the televised depositions of the second hearing on June 13, making this a central focus. In particular, Barr said he repeatedly told Trump “how crazy some of these claims are” and that they were unsubstantiated, but said he was “interested in what the actual facts are.” There were no indications,” he said.
A taped testimony of Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told a similar story, pitting Stepien and other experts against what appears to be an inexhaustible source of accusations: “Team Normal” vs. Rudy Giuliani. Two other of his witnesses shot down one particular instance: Georgia federal prosecutor BJ Park claimed that Giuliani played a short snippet of his tape for security and “conclusive evidence” proving voter fraud. erroneously claimed to be In Pennsylvania he condemned Giuliani’s claim that 8,000 dead voted for his three city committees. “Not only did he have no evidence that 8,000 dead voters had voted in Pennsylvania, he had no evidence that eight voters had died,” Schmidt told the commission.
he knew he lost
Ultimately, during a hearing on Oct. 13, Cassidy Hutchinson, chief of staff to President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, confirmed that Trump himself knew he lost. In her taped testimony, she said:
A third hearing on June 16 focused on pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to derail the electoral vote counting process. Multiple witnesses taped testified that Trump was repeatedly told there was no merit, and two witnesses who advised Pence testified live. Supreme Court.
Luttig said there was “no support in the U.S. Constitution or U.S. law” for what Trump asked Pence to do, and before allowing Pence to illegally “cross the road to mine.” I would have laid my body down,” he said. overthrow the election.
The fourth hearing on June 21 focused on Trump’s efforts to pressure Republican state officials to help overthrow the election, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his Three high-ranking officials testified: Mr. Gabe Sterling, Deputy of the House of Representatives, and Mr. Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. .
“I don’t want to win by cheating. I don’t play with the laws I’ve pledged allegiance to,” Bowers testified. There was also. Bowers was heavily vilified. he said on Saturday. , and — but arguing and threatening my neighbors and myself,” including at least one incident in which an armed man verbally threatened a neighbor.
Find your vote!
As for Georgia, they played a tape of Trump calling out to Raffensperger, saying: I just want to find 11,780 votes. That’s one more vote than we have because we won the state. ” Ravensperger testified: That was the exact number certified. ”
The pressure on Raffensperger and Sterling is the subject of a criminal investigation by Fulton County DA Fani Willis and could lead to state charges against Trump regardless of the Justice Department’s chances of filing federal charges.
They also heard compelling testimony from Ruby Freeman and Shea Moss, two black campaign officials Trump repeatedly falsely attacked and their lives severely disrupted.
The fifth hearing, held on June 23, focused on Trump’s far-reaching efforts to overthrow the election by arming the DOJ with raw testimony from three key figures. rice field. Jeff Rosen, former Acting Attorney General. Steven A. Engel, former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of General Counsel. They all testified that Justice Department attorneys repeatedly told Mr. Trump that the facts and the law were wrong, but that he had done all sorts of things, including efforts to get unqualified attorney Jeffrey Clarke to do his bidding. He testified that he repeatedly tried ridiculous tricks. Only the threat of mass resignations, reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre,” which turned public opinion against him, stopped Trump from appointing Clark.
possibility of violence
The sixth hearing on June 28 featured Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony. He provided conclusive evidence that when Trump offended his supporters in his speech, he was not only aware of the potential for violence, but wanted to lead his supporters. provided. When the driver refused to take him there at the Capitol, he physically assaulted his driver for safety concerns. Trump knew that armed crowd members were trapped outside where he was speaking because they couldn’t get through a metal detector (a.k.a. “mag”).
“I heard the president say something. I mean, I — I don’t care they have a weapon. They’re here to hurt me.” “Get rid of those effing magazines. They can march to the Capitol from here. Get the people in. Take away the effective magazines.” She was also informed by Guilliani of Trump’s plans two days earlier.
The Seventh Hearing on July 12 focused on Trump’s relationship with the violent extremist group that spearheaded the Capitol invasion, including Roger Stone’s role as a mediator. . The riots, and the copious communication of condemnation from Trump allies, extremists, and others who have bridged both worlds.
The eighth hearing on July 23 added fresh evidence of Trump’s inaction during the riots, along with raw testimony from two former Trump aides who resigned over the attacks. He concluded the live hearing series with a high-level review summary of the Matthew Pottinger was the president’s deputy national security adviser. Trump’s tweet attacking Mike Pence was the breaking point for him. “I was upset and worried to see the president attacking Vice President Pence for fulfilling his constitutional obligations. So the tweet was just what we really needed in that moment.” looked like the exact opposite, which is why I said before that it looked like fuel was being poured into the fire,” he said. “That was the moment I decided to resign.”
Finally, at a business meeting on Oct. 13, the committee summarized the ironclad case that Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6 riots and added important new information that has come to light since July. Did. And it concludes by issuing a subpoena for Trump to testify, clarifying exactly what he has to answer. But no one seriously expected Trump’s reaction.
Instead, Trump was campaigning for candidates who refused to vote. But their dismal performance on November 8, losing almost all their high-profile races, greatly changed the tone of politics. Trump’s leadership of the party looks more volatile than ever, as reflected in a string of post-election polls, but his most prominent potential challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to overtake him on the right by doubling down on anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.
“From Mitch McConnell to Mike Pence to Ron DeSantis to Mike Pompeo, the most powerful Republicans right now actually want the Justice Department to get Donald Trump, and the Jan. 6 Commissioner I want the Congress to get Donald Trump because they just don’t have the guts to do that,” former Republican congressman David Jolie told MSNBC on Saturday. They want someone else to knock Donald Trump out and clear the way, and then pretend nothing happened.”
The DOJ’s decision on whether to indict Trump will first fall to Special Counsel Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor appointed to his post by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Nov. 18. Not only has Trump stolen and mishandled more than 11,000 of his government documents, but some have been classified as “Top Secret” and above. This seemed to come out of nowhere on Aug. 8 when the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion. Document litigation is seen as much simpler, so many people expect to make a decision first.
But not responding to reports of the January 6 coup attempt would be seen by historians and other democracies as an invitation to another coup. It’s a recurring pattern from Germany in the 1920s and Japan in the 1930s. There is no reason to think that the US is exempt.