Capitol Insurrection Crime Donald Trump

Liz Cheney Makes It Clear The January 6 Committee Will Refer Trump On Felony Charges

With all of the new developments and information that have come from the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection over the past week, you may have missed a key moment that transpired Monday and then again on Tuesday while Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was speaking.

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post writes that Cheney is signaling the committee is ready to refer former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department on felony charges:

Rep. Liz Cheney’s disclosures of intriguing Jan. 6 text messages between Mark Meadows and both Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personalities are the big news in the committee’s investigation right now. But don’t lose sight of what Cheney said immediately after she read those texts aloud.

In summing up the texts, Cheney … said, “Mr. Meadows’s testimony will bear on another key question before this committee: Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s official proceeding to count electoral votes?”

Cheney was making reference to a very specific section of federal law, 18 U.S. Code § 1512, and that’s the first time anyone on the committee has spelled out what law Trump have have broken with his role in the Capitol riots.

Here’s what the law Cheney cited says:

“Whoever corruptly … obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” That law defines an “official proceeding” as including “a proceeding before the Congress.”

Congress was meeting in joint session on Jan. 6 to certify the electoral votes which made Joe Biden president. When Trump sent his minions to march on the Capitol, the hope was to delay that proceeding and prevent naming Biden as 46th President of the United States. Even a 24-hour pause in that process could have set off a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen in this country.

Just last week, a federal judge ruled that the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 was indeed an “official proceeding.”

The judge, Dabney L. Friedrich, ruled that Congress’s counting of electoral votes — the business it was engaged in when Trump supporters overran the Capitol — qualifies as an “official proceeding” under the statute.

“The Joint Session thus has the trappings of a formal hearing before an official body,” Friedrich said. “There is a presiding officer, a process by which objections can be heard, debated, and ruled upon, and a decision — the certification of the results — that must be reached before the session can be adjourned. … Accordingly, the congressional certification at issue here is a ‘proceeding before the Congress.’”

It would certainly seem that the Select Committee is ready and willing to hand over their case to the DOJ for Trump to be charged. And if he were found guilty and sentenced to several years in prison, that would certainly preclude his running in 2024. Or ever again.


By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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