Criminal Referrals Announced by January 6th Committee

On Monday, before the entire nation in a live, performative hearing, members of the January 6th select committee did something that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago:  The took the unprecedented step of referring a former President to the Department of Justice for criminal charges.

The move wasn’t all that unexpected, given just how partisan the committee has been, but the nature of the charges were surprising.

The House panel investigating the violent Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol urged the Justice Department on Monday to seek criminal charges against former President Donald Trump for his extensive efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

So, what were the charges?

Lawmakers recommended charges on four counts stemming from Trump’s monthslong effort to stay in power after his election defeat — obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and efforts to incite, assist, or aid or comfort an insurrection.

Of course, Trump had previously and swiftly been acquitted on the charge of “inciting” the events of January 6th, 2021 during his Second impeachment trial.

There is no telling where the saga goes from here:

The panel voted unanimously to send the criminal referrals to the Justice Department. The referrals, which mark the first time that the House has recommended criminal charges against a former president, do not guarantee that Trump will be indicted — but they do add to the evidence being weighed by the Justice Department and special counsel Jack Smith in its own investigation of Trump.

The move has no precedent in American history, and risks inciting civil unrest given the widely-held opinion that the committee was aiming to damage Trump’s chances are reelection from the very start of their work.


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