Recently, at the conclusion of their final public hearing regarding the long-running, extensive investigation into the violent, deadly Capitol attack, the January 6th House Select Committee officially and historically decided to make a formal criminal referral to the United States Justice Department against former President Donald J. Trump, in connection to his role in the deadly violence that took place at the nation’s Capitol building fueled by the now ex-president’s 2020 election Big Lie.
This criminal referral, while it does not carry its own legal weight and does not equate to a criminal indictment as the DOJ is not obligated to pick up the referral, opens up the Justice Department to an additional criminal investigation into Trump’s alleged crimes and creates a clear avenue for potential criminal prosecution of the former United States president.
Ultimately, the House Select Committee asserted that former President Donald Trump should be charged under four statutes: inciting an insurrection, defrauding the United States, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to investigators.
Trump already isn’t handling this news well at all. I can only imagine that this will serve to make it that much worse for him.
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Donald’s own former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney made an appearance on CNN’s The Lead with host Jake Tapper today, where he gave his reaction to the development, as well as pinpointed the one particular referred charge that he personally feels his old boss should be the most terrified over.
“I think the most interesting question about breaking the law probably goes to obstruction,” the former Trump chief of staff said.
Mulvaney explained that he doesn’t believe there is “hard evidence” to back up three of the suggested charges against the ex-president, but he believes there is a clear-cut path to indicting Donald Trump on charges of obstruction. According to the House Committee, the former president openly obstructed their investigation when he allegedly attempted to influence testimonies from key witnesses in a variety of ways.
“It’s that obstruction charge that continues to get my attention,” Mulvaney explained. “So often in this business, it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. And if they’ve got people willing to go under oath and say that Trump or someone on his team offered them benefits or tried to interfere with their testimony, that could be a real problem for him.”
The former right-hand man to Trump went on to say that he doesn’t think the criminal referrals from the J6 Committee will ultimately go very far to influence the Department of Justice when it comes to whether or not they will officially charge Donald Trump with any crime/s. However, he was clear in stating that the obstruction charge “should frighten” the ex-president.
“The Department of Justice is already investigating,” Mulvaney pointed out. “The FBI is already investigating. They’ve already asked the commission to share their evidence. I don’t know how these criminal referrals change much. I think the Department of Justice will say, ‘Thank you very much for the referral, thank you for the evidence, we’re going to continue to go about our business.’ And I have no feeling one way or the other, but in my gut, I think that obstruction charge is probably the one that should frighten the Trump team the most.”
Watch the clip from CNN here.
Featured image via Political Tribune Gallery