After almost a year and a half of research and testimonies, including interviewing over a thousand witnesses, the House Select Committee on January 6th is preparing Monday to make criminal referrals against Donald J. Trump for his part in the infamous attack on the Capitol and his efforts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election.
The Justice Department — already conducting its own investigation into the attack, as well an investigation into Trump’s stealing of confidential documents — is not required to heed the committee’s recommendations.
But the referrals would put considerably more heat on Attorney General Merrick Garland to seek an indictment against the former president.
The criminal referrals were decided upon by a subcommittee and will be presented to the full committee on Monday when it intends to vote on the full report.
Two sources told POLITICO that they will include the charges of insurrection (18 U.S.C. 2383), obstructing an official proceeding (18 U.S.C. 1512(c)), and conspiracy to defraud the government (18 U.S.C. 371). The last charge relates to the Big Lie and Trump’s efforts – without any objective evidence – to deceive people into believing that Joe Biden had cheated and that there was a legal basis for disregarding the election results.
It’s possible additional charges could be recommended as well.
Trump may at this point feel the walls closing in on him. He already has a long list of legal troubles:
- The Trump Organization was recently found criminally liable for tax fraud.
- He has a massive civil case hanging over his head from NY AG Letitia James.
- There’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s investigation in Georgia for his efforts to “find” over 10,000 votes there.
- GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has also been subpoenaed to testify in the federal probe against Trump.
- Trump’s facing two civil cases from author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of rape.
- And he has Jack Smith, the special counsel, and his investigations to contend with.
He’s suffering politically as well: many of his hand-picked candidates went down to ignominious defeat in the 2022 election and a recent poll found him trailing Ron DeSantis by 23 points as the top Republican choice for the presidential nomination in 2024.
His latest move —promising a “major announcement” that turned out to be selling silly-looking NFTs of himself in various ridiculous settings for $99 each — alienated even some of his most hardcore loyalists.
One of them, Anthime Gionet, known online as “Baked Alaska,” is set to be sentenced for a misdemeanor offense for his role during the January 6 attack.
He could not believe he was sacrificing himself for such a shill.
i can’t believe i’m going to jail for an nft salesman 😔
— Baked Alaska (@bakedalaska) December 15, 2022
Others have noted what an out-and-out desperate plea for money it is:
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) December 15, 2022
And some noted the ways this can be used to skirt the law and pocket much-needed funds:
Trump's Trading Cards, the grift that also launders money? pic.twitter.com/Dpecn2esEd
— TizzyEnt (@TizzyEnt) December 16, 2022
It’s possible that Trump may just be that desperate for cash. He’s got a lot of defending to do and a shrinking base of support.
Hopefully, it’ll shrink so small you could fit it on a postage stamp.
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