But this would require prosecutors to clear a high bar by proving beyond reasonable doubt that Trump intended to incite the violence that occurred that day. It would also require overcoming some fairly substantial First Amendment obstacles, which provide strong protections for political speech in America.
Sure, the rallying cry Trump made before the January 6 attack – which involved encouraging supporters to “fight like hell” to stop Joe Biden’s victory from being certified – didn’t exactly look great, but is it a specific call to violence? That’s debatable.
Nonetheless, committee members certainly think so. As the group has revealed during its public hearings, Trump knew his supporters had weapons and body armour when he asked them to march to the Capitol building.
His main frustration, according to witness testimony, was that he couldn’t join them, reportedly even wrestling with a member of his Secret Service when they forced him to return to the White House after his January 6 rally.
When the violence began, Trump made it worse by attacking vice president Mike Pence for continuing to certify the 2020 election votes in favour of Joe Biden. And then, as the committee reiterated today, he “did nothing” until hours later when he finally issued a video tweet telling supporters “we love you” – but it was time to “go home”.
“To me that’s pretty powerful evidence, certainly of giving aid and comfort to those engaged in an insurrection,” said Democrat member Adam Schiff.
Whether the department gathers enough evidence to make the same case is yet to be seen.
On one hand, a federal judge in Washington has already laid the groundwork for a potential insurrection case against Trump in a ruling in February. As part of that ruling, the judge found that there was a reasonable case to be made that Trump had aided and abetted those who breached the Capitol, partly by waiting so long to call publicly for the rioters to stand down.
On the other hand, the department has already embarked on more than 900 criminal cases against people involved in the violence that day, but not once has anyone been convicted of insurrection.
Former Justice Department official Alan Rozenshtein, who is now a law expert at the University of Minnesota, believes there is “a little higher than a 50-50 chance” that Trump might be charged for his role in the attack.
However, he argues that “it is more likely than not” that Trump could be charged in relation to the department’s other crucial investigation which is examining his alleged mishandling of classified documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Whatever the case, the latest developments are hardly a good look for an embattled aspiring presidential candidate whose influence on his party appears to be waning. As Rozenshtein put it: “symbolism is important, especially when it comes to political offences”.
Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.