Trump’s criminal referral is a “roadmap to justice,” says a House panel.
In what the committee’s leader refers to as a “roadmap to justice,” the House panel looking into Donald Trump’s attempts to avenge his loss in the 2020 election has referred the former president for four criminal offences, including engaging in an insurrection.
On Monday afternoon, at the bipartisan panel’s final meeting, an ex-president was shockingly and historically referred. The final report of the 18-month study was unanimously approved by the nine members and will be made public on Wednesday.
The committee claimed that Trump broke four criminal laws both before the January violence and when he was trying to cling to power after losing to Joe Biden.
Four Republican members of Congress are also being reported by the panel to the House ethics committee for defying subpoenas.
The charges against Trump include “influencing or obstructing a US government official proceeding,” “conspiring to defraud the US,” “unlawfully, knowingly, or deliberately making false statements to the federal government,” and “assisting or engaging in rebellion against the US.”
The panel’s chair, Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, stated that the referrals will be sent to the justice department very soon.
They are mostly figurative, as attorney general Merrick Garland will decide on charges after the justice department’s own investigations, led by special prosecutor Jack Smith, are finished.
However, after the meeting, Thompson spoke to CNN and stated: “
I’m convinced the justice department will charge former president Trump. No-one, including the former president, is above the law.
In his opening remarks to the meeting, Thompson said: “We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice.”
Also included was John Eastman, Trump’s lawyer, who the panel claimed had assisted Trump in his plot to maintain power. Unnamed people, such as former chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and former department of justice employee Jeffrey Clark, are also likely to receive referrals.
Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, made the recommendations public. “Ours is not a system where the masterminds and ringleaders get off easy while the foot troops go to jail.”
Raskin added: The president has an affirmative and primary constitutional duty to act to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Nothing could be a greater betrayal of this duty than to assist in insurrection against the constitutional order.
Featured Image: Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP