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Thursday, December 08, 2022

January 6 committee hearing seen as ‘road map’ for Trump’s prosecution

January 6 committee hearing seen as 'road map' for Trump's prosecution

In a series of public hearings conducted by the Congressional Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, Representative Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on a nine-member panel, determined what its members wanted. Perform no more than six additional hearings this month.

Cheney’s message was blunt. That said, the committee will seek to demonstrate that former President Donald Trump “overseen and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to reverse the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power.”

He then outlined the subjects of six pending hearings which, he said, would establish that Trump knew he had lost the election, but launched a massive propaganda campaign claiming the election was plagiarism; that he attempted to force the Justice Department to participate in his plan; that he and his allies worked collectively to reverse the outcome, including putting “corruption” pressure on other public officials; And finally, that he “called out a violent mob and instructed them to march on the US Capitol illegally” and refused to take action to stop the attack.

Former prosecutors see road map

Several former federal prosecutors told the VOA that they felt Cheney and members of the committee, headed by Mississippi Democrat Benny Thompson, were trying to work out a blueprint for criminal prosecution of the former president and perhaps some of his aides. Huh.

“Cheney’s comment really read like the prosecutor’s opening argument,” former federal prosecutor Danya Perry told VOA. “It was very systematic, it was very thorough, it was very straightforward. And it really laid out a road map.”

Perry, a founding partner of the Perry Guha law firm, said there were two audiences for the presentation: US Attorney General Merrick Garland and the American people.

She said that success in reaching both audiences would be crucial to any federal criminal prosecution, as Garland is widely seen as a deterrent to anything that could be seen as a political prosecution.

“Unless there is a ground among American voters, he may not be ready to pursue criminal charges,” Perry said.

Protesters Hold Signs As They Rally Ahead Of The January 6, Investigation Hearing On Capitol Hill On June 9, 2022, In Washington.

Protesters hold signs as they rally ahead of the January 6, investigation hearing on Capitol Hill on June 9, 2022, in Washington.

‘Powerful case for prosecution’

Donald B. Ayer, a former U.S. attorney during the Reagan administration and deputy attorney general during the George HW Bush administration, told VOA that Thursday night’s presentation to the committee was well-conceived and effective.

“If you believe that the evidence is what they say, and they can show all of these things, what an extremely powerful case to accuse Donald Trump and a bunch of others,” he said.

“Now, the committee members aren’t the ones to decide, and they’re not doing it primarily for that purpose,” Ayer said. “They’re doing it to solve the systemic problem it poses, and then figure out what needs to be done legislatively to deal with it.”

establishment of knowledge

At the next hearing, scheduled for Monday morning, Cheney said, the committee would present evidence that “Donald Trump and his advisers knew he had indeed lost the election” but that he still “engaged in a massive effort to spread contained “false and fraudulent information – to convince large sections of the American population that fraud had stolen the election from them.”

Establishing Trump’s knowledge of his damages, experts said, will be key to any prosecution.

Ayer said, “If there is a criminal trial, it will be important to demonstrate that Trump understood that he had lost the election, but still went ahead with his plans. The statutes may not require that, But absent evidence that Trump knew he had lost, the moral authority of the prosecution would clash with the public’s sense of equality and propriety.”

For his part, the former president appeared ready to contest any claim that he “knew” that he had lost the election.

On his company-owned social media platform Truth Social, he wrote on Friday, “Many people talked to me about the election results, both pros and cons, but I never took a single step – facts and evidence followed.” Do it. The 2020 presidential election was rigged and stolen.”

A Video Of Former President Donald Trump Speaking During A Rally Near The White House On January 6, 2021, Is Shown As Committee Members During A Public Hearing Of The House Select Committee Investigating The Attack On June 9, 2022 .

A video of former President Donald Trump speaking during a rally near the White House on January 6, 2021, is shown as committee members during a public hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the attack on June 9, 2022 .

‘corrupted’

At future hearings, Cheney said, the committee would demonstrate that Trump was acting corruptly when he tried to install a new attorney general who would support his claims about the elections and when he did not vote for the election results. put pressure on state election officials and others to change

Noah Bookbinder, president and CEO of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the use of the word “corruptly” is no accident.

Bookbinder, former chief counsel for criminal justice for the Senate Judiciary Committee and a former trial attorney for the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department, told VOA that the term is derived directly from some of the statutes under which Trump can be charged. .

“In many federal laws that any prosecution is likely to focus on, Donald Trump specifically uses the word ‘corruption’ as a measure of the level of intent that prosecutors are required to prove,” he said. .

For example, it is not inherently wrong for a president to replace a sitting attorney general.

“But if this is done as part of a scheme to abuse the Department of Justice to attack the election by advancing unfounded allegations of fraud, then something that is in a way an innocuous act, a criminal conspiracy.” can become a part of,” said Bookbinder.

Alleging that Trump acted corruptly, he said, the committee was “showing both that these actions were not in the context of what might otherwise be lawful, and also indicating that they believed that they have the goods to meet the requirements of these criminal laws, where this question of intent is going to be a very ballgame.”

Trump’s response

Trump was aggressively critical of the committee hearings, and at one point praised those who attacked the Capitol on January 6.

Fifteen minutes before the hearing began on Thursday, he used his Truth Social account to post this message:

“The unselected committee didn’t spend a minute studying the reason why people went to Washington, D.C. in great numbers, ready to report fake news media, or that unselected mentions, because Jan. 6th It was not just a protest, it represented the largest movement in the history of our nation to make America great again. It was about an election that was rigged and stolen, and a country that Was about to go to hell.. and see about our country now!”

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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