The US House January 6 Committee could reportedly insist that the former US president is prosecuted on charges including insurrection
The US House Select Committee investigating the January 2021 riots on Capitol Hill is preparing to vote on urging the Justice Department to file at least three criminal charges against former President Donald Trump, several media outlets reported on Friday.
Sources told Politico and CNN that the charges could include insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government. The select committee’s final report could also reportedly insist on including additional charges against Trump.
According to a source for the Guardian newspaper, recommendations on the matter, which were made by a special subcommittee, hinge on the examination of evidence allegedly showing that Trump tried to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
According to Politico, the document sets out an extensive justification for the proposed charges. On the count of incitement of insurrection, the recommendation references a ruling by US District Judge Amit Mehta, who insisted in February that Trump entered into “a tacit agreement” with the rioters, arguing that it is “at least plausible” that by urging his supporters to march on the Capitol, he sought to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election results.
The select panel’s document also reportedly says that the ex-president did not need to “express agreement with rioters” to incite insurrection. Giving them “aid or comfort” would have sufficed, it argued.
The reported recommendations do not oblige the DOJ to prosecute Trump, but could potentially influence the department’s ultimate decision on its investigation. The panel’s final report on the matter is expected to be released next week.
Donald Trump has long been critical of the January 6 Committee, at one point labeling its members “highly partisan political hacks and thugs”. The 45th president’s spokesperson, Steven Cheung, denounced the panel’s reported plans as “a stain on this country’s history,” saying a “Kangaroo court… insults Americans’ intelligence and makes a mockery of our democracy.”
In 2021, supporters of Donald Trump broke through police barricades and briefly overran the Capitol building in Washington DC when Congress was in the process of finalizing the results of the presidential election. Trump denied responsibility for his supporters’ actions and insisted his remarks before the riots were appropriate. The former US leader has repeatedly claimed the election was stolen from him, although his legal team was unable to provide proof of electoral fraud in court.
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