In an unprecedented move in American history, a parliamentary committee charged a former head of the Department of Justice with extremely serious crimes. The circuit ‘committee’ that has been investigating the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol for a year and a half has concluded its last public hearing by unanimously approving the final report of the investigation (due Wednesday) and the determination to bring Donald Trump to justice in at least four crimes. Aiding or aiding an insurrection, obstructing Congress in certifying the victory of Joe Biden, conspiracy to make false statements (to the federal government), and defrauding the United States.
A move that undermines his new presidential race, portraying him as a premeditated operation manager with a false victory declaration, and the “big lie” over mass fraud and incitement of a disruptive rally on the Capitol. Along with the businessman, his former lawyer John Eastman, one of the ‘architects’ of the attempt to overturn the vote, and other close allies of Trump, have been deferred. Four Republican Representatives (Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry and Andy Biggs) will also be referred to the House Ethics Committee for failing to comply with the subpoenas. The White House responded through spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre: “The president has been very clear, our democracy remains under threat and we all have a role to play in protecting it.” “Our system is not a system where walkers go to jail and masterminds and ringleaders stay free,” warned Dem Jimmy Raskin, one of the nine “investigating” deputies, at the end of the hearing. Trump has shown that he is “unfit for any new public office,” accused Liz Cheney, one of only two Republicans on the committee, who was its vice chair, at the inauguration.
He had “broken confidence” in the electoral system, said Benny Thompson, the commission’s chairman, shortly before: “He knew he had lost the 2020 election but chose to stay in office through a clear scheme to overturn the results. He had a president unleash a violent attempt to block the transfer of power.” . “Every president in our history has advocated for this orderly transfer of power, with one exception,” Cheney said. He continued, “Among the shameful things this committee has discovered is the fact that Trump sat in the dining room outside the Oval Office watching the violent riot in the Capitol on television. For hours no public statement was issued ordering his supporters to do so. They dispersed and left the Capitol despite urged the White House staff and dozens of others.
“During that time, officers were attacked and seriously injured, the Capitol was overrun, vote counting was halted, and the lives of members of Parliament were endangered,” Cheney added, describing the former president’s behavior as “not only illegal, but also completely unlawful.” Moral failure and apparent dereliction of duty.
The referral does not compel the Justice Department to take any action, but it does send a strong signal about Trump’s responsibilities in storming the Capitol. In any case, the department is already highlighting Trump in a criminal investigation into the same case, as well as in the seizure of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. The billionaire’s case could be worsened on Tuesday by the House Tax Committee if it decides to make his tax returns public eight years after he managed to get them.
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