The January 6 Committee of the United States Congress has recommended former President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. The Committee held the President accountable for all that happened during the Capitol riot, which followed the 2020 election after the former President denied the election results.
Bennie Johnson, chairman of the committee, at the end of the Committee’s final seating on Monday, said: “Donald Trump broke that faith. He lost the 2020 election and knew it. But he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme to overturn the results and block the transfer of power.”
“In the end, he summoned a mob to Washington, and knowing they were armed and angry, pointed them at the Capitol and told them to ‘fight like hell.’ There’s no doubt about this,” he added.
The Committee concluded that there was overwhelming evidence that without Trump, the riot wouldn’t have happened, and he should be charged with obstructing an official proceeding, defrauding the United States, making a false statement, and assisting or aiding an insurrection.
At the end of the sitting and 17 months of investigation, the Committee’s intention could be seen that they want the former President to be barred from further holding any public office.
What a referral to the Department of Justice means
A referral to the Ministry of Justice does not mean an immediate prosecution of Trump. It is a message to the Department to further investigate the allegations against the former President and prosecute him if it finds it necessary.
However, the committee’s report, which will be made public on Wednesday, is expected to help the Department in its investigation. What that means is that the January 6 Committee had reduced the job of the Department of Justice. A study of the report could be all that is needed to prosecute the former President who is running for the 2024 election.
But for now, the decision to prosecute Trump or discard the report lies in the prerogative of the Justice Department.
Committee members are certain of Trump’s prosecution
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Chairman of the committee, is optimistic that the Department of Justice will not fail to proceed with the criminal charges against Trump.
“I have no doubt that once the investigation proceeds and is concluded if the evidence is as we presented it, I’m convinced the Justice Department will charge former President Trump. No one — including a former president — is above the law,” Thompson told CNN.
“It was clear in the evaluation of the evidence uncovered by our committee that those actions taken by the president… former President Trump, clearly created a problem for this country,” he added.
The committee’s report, which will be released Wednesday, contains the outcome of the investigation and transcripts of the more than 1,000 interviews conducted within the last 17 months.
Why more people were not recommended for prosecution
While Donald Trump and some of his associates have been referred to the DOJ, many others were left out. Reps. Adam Schiff and Jamie Raskin explained why that happened. They claimed there was no sufficient evidence to refer more associates of the former president as some did not cooperate with the committee.
“There were undoubtedly other people involved, but we were stymied by virtue of a lot of people refusing to come and testify, refusing to give us the information they had or taking the Fifth Amendment,” Jamie Raskin said. “So we chose to advance the names of people where we felt certain that there was abundant evidence that they had participated in crimes, and so we’re sending those over.”
He added that the Department of Justice could decide if anyone else will be prosecuted based on the report it sent.
“We wanted to proceed in such a way that we could all feel certain that these were people where evidence exists that they engaged in criminal offences against our country,” he added.
Rep Adam Schiff said: “The long and the short of it is we possess evidence that up until this release, the Justice Department may not have, they possess evidence that we don’t have, and the cumulative impact of all that evidence will hopefully lead to justice for those that have broken the law here.”
Jamie Raskin said the members of the Committee will corporate with the Department of Justice when it begins taking action on the report.
An anti-Trump Committee?
Trump, a Republican, is being investigated by a committee of nine. Seven are Democrats, while two are Republicans. The two Republicans on the committee are vocal anti-Trump campaigners. That means Trump is being investigated only by those that want him out of the political space. While the fairness of the Committee has not been questioned, it is difficult to conclude that it is bipartisan.
Many pro-Trumps have described it as a partisan committee trying to bring down the former president.
Comments made by the Committee’s Chair and deputy sound political and appear like a piece of political advice to Americans to reject Trump.
“The future of our democracy rests in your hands. It’s up to the people of this country to decide who deserves public trust. Who will put fidelity to the Constitution and democracy above all else. Who will abide by the rule of law — no matter the outcome,” Bennie Thompson, the Committee’s chairman, said.
Deputy chair of the committee, Liz Cheney, said: “No man who would behave that way at that moment in time can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again. He is unfit for any office.”
The above statements coming from the leaders of the Committee could mean passing a judgment before the Department of Justice takes any action. Trump clearly has the right to feel the committee’s actions are a witchhunt.
Former president Trump has lashed out at the committee, describing it as a hoax. He compared it to an investigation launched against him and his campaign during the 2016 election after suspected links with Russia.
“The real criminals are the people who are destroying our once great Country!” Trump wrote on Truth Social while insisting that Democrats cheated in the 2020 election.
As Trump hopes for a dramatic return as president of the United States, his 2024 bid seems to have more challenges than expected. His future, at this point, depends on the DOJ’s action and what the courts will say subsequently.