Trump Should Be Prosecuted for Role in Jan. 6 Capitol Attack, US House Panel Says
The committee voted unanimously Monday to refer Trump for prosecution for multiple offenses including insurrection, which Representative Jamie Raskin said would disqualify the former president from holding office, if convicted.
The US is not a country where “foot soldiers go to jail and the masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass,” the Maryland Democrat said.
The committee’s referral doesn’t require the Justice Department to prosecute Trump and in fact has no formal legal impact. But it is a powerful statement to federal and state prosecutors as well as the broader public. The committee also recommended charges related to obstructing a congressional proceeding.
The action adds to the troubles plaguing the 2024 re-election bid Trump launched last month. Another House committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to consider publicly releasing Trump’s tax returns, which he fought to keep private. The Ways and Means Committee obtained the documents after a lengthy court battle.
In recent weeks, Trump’s company has been convicted of tax fraud, his dinner with a white supremacist provoked furious criticism and polls show his support plummeting after disappointing Republican results in midterm elections. Some polls show him trailing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the Republican primary and Democratic President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 re-match.
Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the panel’s vice chair, called Trump’s conduct “an utter moral failure and a dereliction of duty” that renders him “unfit for any office.”
The committee vote is to be accompanied by a detailed final report on its investigation, laying out a case for Trump’s culpability for the mob attack. The committee has accumulated evidence including interviews with more than a thousand witnesses that it also plans to share with prosecutors and the public.
Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, another panel member, said the panel uncovered evidence of attempts to influence witnesses. She cited on instance in which a witness was offered financial benefits ahead of testifying but those offers were withdrawn after her testimony was reported.
“We believe these efforts may have been part of a strategy to prevent the committee from finding the truth.” Lofgren said.
Hearings the committee held over the spring and summer regularly dominated their television time slots, with riveting insider accounts punctuating ...