Dec 18, 2022
Donald Trump took to his beleaguered social media app late Saturday to lash out against the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection following reports that the panel is planning to use its final meeting Monday to recommend criminal charges against the former president and 2024 White House hopeful.
"They say that the Unselect Committee of Democrats, Misfits, and Thugs, without any representation from Republicans in good standing, is getting ready to recommend Criminal Charges to the highly partisan, political, and Corrupt 'Justice' Department for the 'PEACEFULLY & PATRIOTICLY' speech I made on January 6th," Trump wrote on Truth Social. "This speech and my actions were mild & loving, especially when compared to Democrats wild spewing of HATE. Why didn't they investigate massive Election Fraud or send in the Troops? SCAM!"
The former president's outburst came after several outlets reported Saturday that the House January 6 panel, which has spent more than a year investigating the 2021 insurrection and outlining its findings in public hearings, intends to vote Monday to refer Trump and some of his top aides to the Justice Department.
Politico reported that the panel has proposed several criminal charges for Trump, including "18 U.S.C. 2383, insurrection; 18 U.S.C. 1512(c), obstruction of an official proceeding; and 18 U.S.C. 371, conspiracy to defraud the United States government."
"DOJ, which is already pursuing a criminal probe of Trump's Jan. 6-related actions, is not required to consider referrals from Congress, which have no legal weight," Politico noted. "However, the select committee plans to act in the hopes that lawmakers' input can influence prosecutorial decision-making. Panel chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has also raised the possibility of referrals to outside entities like bar associations for the constellation of lawyers involved in election subversion efforts."
Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said Saturday that the recommended charges appear sensible.
"Obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. are charges for which the evidence against Donald Trump in connection with efforts to overturn the 2020 election [is] exceedingly strong," Bookbinder wrote on Twitter. "Insurrection is a harder charge to prove criminally and not strictly necessary. But it is what happened, and the committee did a remarkable job showing the connection between Trump's actions and the mob's violence. I think it is the right call to include it in a referral."
According toThe Guardian, the House panel is also "likely to proceed with criminal referrals against top former White House advisers, including the former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and to make civil referrals to the House Ethics Committee for GOP members of Congress and recommend disbarments for Trump lawyers."
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