Predictably, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s politically motivated House Select Committee wrapped up its one-sided investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol with criminal referrals against former President Donald Trump.
While it may be a stretch to say the criminal referrals were the panel’s objective all along, it was certainly predictable that the nine Trump-hating members would eventually vote to refer Trump to the Department of Justice for prosecution, which is precisely what they did this week on four trumped-up charges: inciting insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an act of Congress, and conspiracy to make a false statement.
Rumor and innuendo alone will not lead to a conviction if the DOJ makes what would be a historic decision to pursue the former president, but should Trump be found guilty he would face up to forty years in prison, thousands in fines, and be prohibited from ever running for office again, according to the Daily Mail.
There can be little doubt that Trump, the leading 2024 Republican candidate for president, is the most persecuted American in modern history and after 6-plus years of endless investigations and probes at the state and federal level, he has yet to be found guilty of a single crime.
“The committee believes that more than sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of former President Trump for assisting or aiding and comforting those at the Capitol who engaged in a violent attack on the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who sits on the Jan. 6 panel. “The committee has developed significant evidence that President Trump intended to disrupt the peaceful transfer transition of power under our Constitution.”
Howard Kurtz, the host of Fox News “MediaBuzz,” penned an editorial on the predictable swan song that resulted in the “legally irrelevant referrals to DOJ,” pointing out that the panel consisted of all Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans.
Kurtz also noted the “Trump-is-guilty speeches” from the committee, including chairman Bennie Thompson and vice chair Liz Cheney, “before they got to the first-hand accounts.” He also hit them for the consistent leaks of information.
“I’ve never understood why the committee systematically funnels to the press all the news it plans to break,” he said. “Once the media were filled with details of which criminal charges the panel would invoke against the former president, the only reason to tune in was to hear the speechifying.”
“Yes, it’s historic. Yes, no such referral has ever been made against a former president. But it’s purely symbolic,” Kurtz concluded of the criminal referrals.
UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo appeared on Fox News Monday night to discuss the committee’s criminal referrals to the Justice Department and said he does not believe there is enough evidence for the DOJ to prosecute Trump:
The former president responded on Monday to suggest the latest attempt to take him is designed to prevent him from running in 2024.
“The people understand that the Democratic Bureau of Investigation, the DBI, are out to keep me from running for president because they know I’ll win and that this whole business of prosecuting me is just like impeachment was — a partisan attempt to sideline me and the Republican Party,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, adding: “The Fake charges made by the highly partisan Unselect Committee of January 6th have already been submitted, prosecuted, and tried in the form of Impeachment Hoax #2. I WON convincingly. Double Jeopardy anyone!”
Trump was not the only one to take issue with the outcome, as seen from Jeremy Carl, a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute:
A completely partisan House panel is trying to work hand-in-glove with a completely partisan DOJ to bring criminal charges against the previous U.S. President.
If you still think we live in a functional democracy you need to wake up and realize what time it is.
— Jeremy Carl (@jeremycarl4) December 20, 2022
The Jan. 6 committee criticized Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, on Monday, suggesting that she knew more than she was letting on, contrary to then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and others, according to NBC News.
“Ivanka Trump was not as forthcoming as Cipollone and others about President Trump’s conduct,” the executive summary said, before accusing her of exhibiting “a lack of full recollection of certain issues.”
Former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’ was also criticized, with the panel claiming her testimony “seemed evasive, as if she was testifying from pre-prepared talking points.”
“In multiple instances, McEnany’s testimony did not seem nearly as forthright as that of her press office staff, who testified about what McEnany said,” the summary said.
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