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 has 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.
The committee’s historic referral says there is sufficient evidence to refer Trump for four crimes: obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government, making knowingly and willfully make materially false statements to the federal government, and inciting or assisting an insurrection.”
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Again, the US Department of Justice, spearheaded by Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland, is under no obligation to actually charge Donald Trump with any crime. As it stands, Donald Trump has not yet been criminally charged with any crimes in relation to the January 6th Capitol insurrection or his actions leading up to, during, or surrounding the attack. Trump continues to vehemently deny any involvement in the Capitol attack or any personal wrongdoing with regard to any of the events or crimes surrounding the riot.
Should the DOJ — which is currently conducting its own investigations against the scandal-ridden former president, including an investigation into January 6th and his actions surrounding the 2020 presidential election as a whole — ultimately decide to charge Trump in connection to the Committee’s criminal referrals, the former president could effectively be barred from ever holding federal office again under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Donald Trump has recently and infamously announced his 2024 presidential campaign bid on the heels of the lackluster GOP performance in the midterm elections.
Read the full report from CNBC here.
Featured image via DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos