Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the Special Grand Jury: Recommendations for Indicting Unnamed Witnesses in their Testimony
An excerpt of the special grand jury’s report released Thursday showed that it recommended the district attorney seek indictments of one or more unnamed witnesses that it believed lied during testimony. There are no details on whether anyone should be charged with the alleged attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s election win. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had previously told a judge that charging decisions were “imminent” in the case.
Now that the grand jury is finished, it’s up to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to review the recommendations and make charging decisions. Willis’ decisions in this case will reverberate in the 2024 presidential campaign and beyond.
Flynn and Powell made outrageous suggestions about how to overturn the election, three weeks after Trump pardoned Flynn, according to CNN.
The petition says that Gingrich was involved in a plan to have Republican delegates sign fake certificates saying Trump had won the state and that they were the official electors even though Biden had won.
On Friday, she filed court paperwork in hopes of issuing subpoenas to former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann and two others who she believes have valuable insight to give the grand jury.
CNN previously reported that the district attorney aims to quickly wrap up the grand jury’s work after the midterm elections and could begin issuing indictments as early as December, according to sources familiar with the situation.
A Special Grand Jury in Fulton County, MN, and he was appointed by Trump in 2020 to Overturn the 2020 Presidential Election
Flynn didn’t respond to phone and email messages that asked for comment and his lawyer didn’t reply to an email that sought comment. Gingrich referred questions to his attorney, who declined to comment. Herschmann could not immediately be reached.
Willis has said she plans to take a monthlong break from public activity in the case leading up to the November midterm election, which is one month from Saturday.
Potential witnesses should be present in November after the election. It looks like she is putting the brakes on for now because the process for getting testimony from out-of-state witnesses can take a while.
The judge overseeing the special grand jury signed the petitions certifying that each person who is asked to testify is a “necessary and material” witness.
The committee says that Trump intended to spread false allegations of fraud so that he could attempt to overturn the election and get $250 million in political contributions. His supporters fought back on January 6th after he made false claims.
Flynn appeared in an interview with Newsmax where he said that Trump could “take military capabilities” and put them in swing states, which would “basically re-run the election” in those states.
He also met with Trump, attorney Sidney Powell and others at the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, for a meeting that, according to news reports, “focused on topics including invoking martial law, seizing voting machines, and appointing Powell as special counsel to investigate the 2020 election,” Willis wrote.
He was a senior adviser to Donald Trump from August 2020 to the end of his term and was present for multiple meetings related to the 2020 election.
She believes that Penrose was associated with the Trump campaign in late 2020 and early 2021, working as a cyber investigations operations and forensics consultant.
According to Willis, he communicated with Powell and others about the agreement to hire SullivanStrickler to provide data and software from voting system equipment in Coffee County as well as in Michigan and Nevada. Penrose did not immediately respond to an email and phone message seeking comment.
He was part of an effort to pressure Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County elections worker, who was the subject of false claims about election fraud. He was unable to immediately speak about what he had to say.
This special grand jury does not have the power to issue indictments; they are an investigatory body, and it’s now up to the Fulton County district attorney to decide whether to present her case before a regular grand jury to decide if defendants should be indicted.
Instead, the special grand jury wrote a final report with recommendations for the district attorney’s office about how to proceed, including potential violations of state law — though Willis does not have to follow those suggestions if she decides to seek indictments from a regular grand jury.
After holding nine public hearings and releasing a summary of the report earlier this week, the final document reads like an indictment of Trump, explaining his direct role in every facet of the plot to overturn the 2020 election – drawing a clear through-line between Trump’s election denialism and the violence that unfolded.
That so many Americans fell for the lie that the election was stolen and were willing to engage in acts of violence in furtherance of it is a national shame, and it’s unclear how to solve this problem — all the facts in the world don’t seem to sway people who are deeply committed to their own conclusions.
CNN Observations of the Capitol Reaction: The Commission on Elections, the FBI, and the FBI: Inside the House, FBI Investigation, and Special Report on Anderson Cooper 360°
During the time between Election Day on November 3, 2020, and Biden’s swearing-in on January 20, 2021, the committee demanded that Trump turn over any communications he sent or received that were connected to the plan to overturn the election.
Liz Cheney, the panel’s top Republican, stated that they were obligated to seek answers from the man who set this all in motion. We can act now to protect the republic because every American is entitled to the answers.
And select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, argued that Trump “is the one person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6th. So we want to hear from him.”
Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who is the chairman, said the final report will not be made public until after the meeting. Members of the committee have promised to release the report before the end of the year since Republicans are expected to dissolve the panel when they take over the House in January.
CNN has obtained additional footage from Fort McNair that wasn’t shown by the committee. The exclusive footage will air on CNN on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET, during a special edition of “Anderson Cooper 360°.” After fleeing the capitol, congressional leaders gathered at Fort McNair, desperately searching for a solution to the Capitol rebellion and begging for help in the hopes of stopping the insurrection.
In the hearings that it produced, the committee painted a picture of extreme violence and attempts to steal the presidency from Joe Biden.
The footage also showed two phone calls between Pelosi and then-Vice President Mike Pence, who took on an impromptu leadership role on January 6, coordinating the emergency response.
The new footage showed Schumer dressing down then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. During their heated phone call, Schumer asked the man to help Trump by telling the mob to stop. During the call, Pelosi said that the pro- Trump rioters were breaking the law in order to gain favor with the president.
Elaine Chao, who resigned from her post as Trump’s secretary of Transportation a day after the insurrection, spoke in personal terms about her disgust toward the attack when she testified to the committee.
The events made itimpossible for me to continue since I have my personal values and philosophy. I came as an immigrant to this country. I am a big fan of this country. I believe in the peaceful transfer of power. I believe in democracy. She said that it was a decision she made on her own.
On Thursday, the committee showed the latest deposition from Hutchinson, where she spoke about Trump urging the Georgia Secretary of State to vote for him in the 2020 election.
I was looking at Mark and he couldn’t possibly think we were going to pull this off. That call was crazy. He was shaking his head, when he looked at me. He said that he knows it’s over. He knows that he lost. But we’re going to keep trying,’” Hutchinson told the committee.
She said that she witnessed a discussion between Meadows and Trump where he was angry that the Supreme Court had rejected the lawsuit.
It was said that the President didn’t want people to know we lost. This is not good. It’s time to figure it out. We need to figure it out. I don’t want people to know that we lost,’” Hutchinson said.
The Secret Service Committee on Special Relativity: Trump, Schiff, Ginni Thomas and Fitton revealed Thursday in a panel hearing on January 6, 2020
Over the past three months, the committee has obtained more than 1 million records from the Secret Service, and during the hearing on Thursday they revealed some of what they learned.
The panel obtained messages and emails showing the agency receiving warnings before January 6, 2021. about the prospect of violence, as well as real-time reports of weapons in the crowd ahead of Trump’s speech at the El.
In September of last year, the committee subpoenaed him for documents and testimony, and he gave them more than 2,000 text messages he sent and received after Joe Biden took office. The text messages, which were obtained by CNN, reveal how top Republican Party officials, right-wing figures and even Trump’s family members discussed with Meadows what Trump should say and do after the election and in the middle of the insurrection.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said in Thursday’s hearing that that the Secret Service received alerts of online threats made against Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the Capitol insurrection, including that Pence would be “‘a dead man walking if he doesn’t do the right thing.’”
According to the summary of the report, the Committee was concerned that the President was going to personally participate in January 6th efforts at the Capitol, leading the attempt to overturn the election. “There is no question from all the evidence assembled that President Trump did have that intent.”
Jacob drafted a memo to Short after their conversation on November 3, 2020, said the committee, which presented the memo for the first time on Thursday.
“It is essential that the Vice President not be perceived by the public as having decided questions concerning disputed electoral votes prior to the full development of all relevant facts,” the memo reads.
The committee revealed emails from Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch, from before the 2020 presidential election that say Trump should declare victory regardless of the outcome.
Committee members interviewed Ginni Thomas last month but ultimately her testimony was not featured as part of the panel’s last hearing before the midterm election.
Her absence was notable because the panel used testimony from several other high-profile witnesses who had been interviewed since the committee’s most recent hearing.
Corrupting the Post-Presidential Collision with the Biden and Pence Administrations: Trump’s Political Persecussion Revisited
The unique and extraordinary legal tangle surrounding Trump means that a third straight US election will be tainted by controversies that will drag the FBI and the Justice Department further into a political morass. There is a special counsel investigation of President Joe Biden over his handling of documents while he was vice president, as well as a DOJ review of similar issues with former Vice President Mike Pence who is considering a 2024 bid. In the past two years, there have been Hillary Clinton emails and investigations into the Trump campaign and its ties with Russia.
Trump dropped his clearest hint yet Saturday of a new White House run at a moment when he’s on a new collision course with the Biden administration, the courts and facts.
Significant consequences could be brought about by the fact that Trump is seeking the presidency again, under an extraordinary legal cloud. Some of his potential Republican rivals, wary of trying to take him down, might hope that his legal troubles will do the job for them. Perceptions that Trump is caught in a web of criminal investigation might also further tarnish his personal political brand, which has already contributed to some Republican loses in national elections in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
Those controversies also show that given the open legal and political loops involving the ex-President, a potential 2024 presidential campaign rooted in his claims of political persecution could create even more upheaval than his four years in office.
There is every chance the coming political period will mostly be about the past of the ex- President, regardless of the policy differences emerging between Democrats and Republicans.
The panel is debating whether to make criminal referrals of Trump and those around him to the Department of Justice over their actions around January 6. The prosecutors in Georgia, which is a key battleground for the 2020 election, are investigating attempts by Trump and his allies to subvert the election, as well as the January 6 case, which is the most significant criminal liability for the ex- President.
Kaluza, Kari, and the Trump Organization: The Case against the Ex-President and Other Right-Wing Candidates in the 21st Century
In Arizona, one of the ex-president’s favorites for governor, Kari Lake, is raising doubts about the election system. Lake said that it was probably not going to be fair.
There’s a rising prospect next month’s election will install a Republican majority in the House that will effectively mean a return of Trumpism to political power given the hold the ex-President maintains over the House GOP. Some Republican leaders have said they’ll use their power to impeach Biden if he tries to get in the way of Trump in 2024.
Republicans in Washington are likely to expand their presence after the elections. There is a question of whether the candidates will accept the outcome of their races if they lose in the two weeks after the election.
On another politically sensitive front, the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud and grandy larceny trial begins in Manhattan on Monday. The trial of the ex- president could impact his business empire and prompt new claims from him that he is being persecution for political reasons, injecting yet another contentious element into election season. In a separate civil case, New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, has filed a $250 million civil suit against Trump, three of his adult children and the Trump Organization, alleging that they ran tax and insurance fraud schemes to enrich themselves for years.
Democrats have made their own attempts to return Trump to the political spotlight. President Joe Biden compared certain followers of the right-wing political organization to fascists and some campaigns warned that pro-Trump candidates are a danger to democracy.
Can Attorney General Garland Overstep the Charges of the Ex-President? Inflation, Gas Prices, and Wall Street Crises in the Midterms
But raging inflation and spikes in gasoline prices appear to be a far more potent concern before voters head to the polls, which could spell bad news for the party in power in Washington.
The ex-President told supporters at a rally in Texas on Saturday regarding the possibility of a new White House bid, “I will probably have to do it again.”
Cheney said that it would take several days and that it would be done with rigor and seriousness.
This is not going to be his first debate against Joe Biden, and the food fight that took place is not going to be in this one. This is a far too serious set of issues.”
The former president is not likely to approve of video testimony over an intense period of days or hours, because it would be hard for him to dictate the terms of the exchanges and make final decisions about how his testimony is used.
Trump has tried to make the case that justice is being used against him so he can run for president again. According to Garland, any prosecution of Trump must be balanced between national interest and the precedent that would be set if a commander in chief attempted to overthrow an election.
The simple, politically charged act of investigating an ex-president was always bound to create a political furor. The fact that Trump is running for the White House again increases the stakes, and means that Attorney General Garland will have to decide if he should charge Trump.
As Donald Trump inches closer to launching another presidential run after the midterm election, Justice Department officials have discussed whether a Trump candidacy would create the need for a special counsel to oversee two sprawling federal investigations related to the former president, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The Justice Department is also staffing up its investigations with experienced prosecutors so it’s ready for any decisions after the midterms, including the potential unprecedented move of indicting a former president.
A defense attorney working on January 6-related matters said that they have no idea who will be charged.
How Will the Department of Justice investigate left-right partisan wrongdoing in the wake of Trump’s 2024 election? The case for a prosecutor-turned-defense attorney
Special counsels are not immune from political attacks. Both former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and special counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe came under withering criticism from their opponents.
Top Justice officials have looked to an old guard of former Southern District of New York prosecutors, bringing into the investigations Kansas City-based federal prosecutor and national security expert David Raskin, as well as David Rody, a prosecutor-turned-defense lawyer who previously specialized in gang and conspiracy cases and has worked extensively with government cooperators.
Sources familiar with the move say that Rody, who has not been previously reported, left a lucrative partnership at Sidley Austin in recent weeks to work in the criminal division of the DOJ in Washington.
Even though right-wing extremists go to trial in the DC US Attorney’s Office for seditious activity on January 6, there is still a growing team of investigators that handles the day to day work.
A high-ranking fraud and public corruption prosecutor who has moved out of a supervisor’s position has joined the January 6 investigations team, as have two other prosecutors with years of experience in criminal appellate work.
The question, though, is what the Department of Justice will do, and what the consequences of that decision may be. Indicting Trump would be controversial and cause a lot of upset. There are risks of fueling the perception that Democrats are using the DOJ to go after political opponents. If it was about partisan revenge, such a prosecution would be terrible and disgusting.
With the DOJ already facing the enormous pressure of investigating Trump, which escalated when he declared his 2024 bid last month, it’s hard to say that Monday’s events will add to the burden. Democrats who think the department has been slow in pursuing Trump would be incensed if Garland were to disregard multiple referrals.
“What we will avoid and what we must avoid is any partisan element of our decision making about cases,” Garland said. “That is what I’m intent on ensuring that the Department decisions are made on the merits, and that they’re made on the facts and the law, and they’re not based on any kind of partisan considerations.”
Garland has tough decisions that go beyond Trump. According to people briefed on the matter, the investigation of Hunter Biden is drawing to a close. A decision concerning the investigation of Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is expected after prosecutors recommended against charges.
According to a former Justice Department official with some insight into the thinking surrounding the investigations, they won’t charge before they are ready to charge. “But there will be added pressure to get through the review” of cases earlier than the typical five-year window DOJ has to bring charges.
The excerpts from the grand jury report that was only partially released are complicating the questions about Georgia. It is considered one-sided since witnesses don’t testify alongside counsel or have a chance to rebut accusations. The rest of the report was not released to avoid prejudicing the rights of people who may or may not end up being charged in the case. Recommendations of perjury prosecutions are non-binding and do not move the issue forward on whether there will criminal accountability for an attempt to subvert democracy or to cover it up.
The DOJ tried to keep the investigation quiet in the weeks leading up to the election, but they were succeeded by Trump.
Mar-a-Lago documents: Did Trump mishandle classified material? The Trump White House documents may have been mishandled if they were brought to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after he left office. Potential witnesses to how Trump dealt with the documents have been interviewed by a federal grand jury. The National Archives, charged with collecting and sorting presidential material, has previously said that at least 15 boxes of White House records were recovered from Mar-a-Lago, including some classified records.
The outcome of the intelligence review of those documents may determine if criminal charges will be filed, according to one source familiar with the Justice Department’s approach.
On Tuesday a federal judge ordered Trump adviser Kash Patel to testify before a grand jury investigating the handling of federal records at Mar-a-Lago, according to two people familiar with the investigation.
The granting of immunity from prosecution on any information he gives to the investigation by a judge of the DC District Court is a significant step that makes the Justice Department closer to charging the case.
The Select Committee has been made aware of several attempts by President Trump to contact witnesses. The Department of Justice is aware of at least one of those circumstances,” according to the summary.
For example, during one of the panel’s final hearings, Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney raised concerns of witness tampering tied to Trump, but it’s unclear if the panel will pursue a related referral.
The broad document request even asked for all documents and communications relating or referring “in any way” to members of the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, or other extremist groups from September 1, 2020, to the present. The panel’s document request spans 19 different categories.
A source tells us that the House select committee is considering asking the Justice Department to indict President Donald Trump on three criminal charges.
Trump denies any criminal wrongdoing as he campaigns for the White House. He has claimed that the Democrat, who was elected to Georgia, is politically biased and that he continues to promote the false claim that he won the election.
CNN previously reported that the panel has also weighed criminal referrals for a number of Trump’s closest allies including Eastman, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, according to multiple sources.
While the criminal referrals would largely be symbolic in nature – as the DOJ has already undertaken a sprawling investigation into the US Capitol attack and efforts to overturn the 2020 election – committee members have stressed that the move serves as a way to document their views for the record.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said Thursday that committee members are expected to reach a decision on criminal referrals when members meet virtually on Sunday.
“I think the more we looked at the body of evidence that we had collected, we just felt that while we’re not in the business of investigating people for criminal activities, we just couldn’t overlook some of them,” Thompson said.
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who leads the January 6 subcommittee tasked with presenting recommendations on criminal referrals to the full committee, said Thursday, “I think anyone who engages in criminal actions needs to be held accountable for them. We’re going to spell it out.
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who leads the January 6 subcommittee tasked with presenting recommendations on criminal referrals to the full panel, recently said that “the gravest offense in constitutional terms is the attempt to overthrow a presidential election and bypass the constitutional order. Subsidiary to all of that are a whole host of statutory offenses, which support the gravity and magnitude of that violent assault on America.”
Raskin, along with Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren, both of California, and the panel’s vice chair, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, comprised the subcommittee tasked with providing the full panel with referral recommendations that will be adopted on Monday.
Meadows did not turn over other documents he had, and the House committee voted to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress for it and for his refusal to testify, referring the matter to the Justice Department. The Justice Department had to decline to indict him because of his position in the Trump White House and his claims of executive privilege.
Raskin also suggested Thursday that previous referrals to DOJ for contempt of Congress would not impact how the panel handles these criminal referrals.
He said there was a whole statutory process for making contempt of Congress happen. “But you know we will explain our decisions in detail – why we are making certain kinds of referrals for certain people and other kinds for others.”
In a hearing over the summer, the panel presented revelations that provided new insight into Eastman’s role as a central figure in the effort led by Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Eastman was integral to the intense pressure campaign that Trump directed at then-Vice President Mike Pence to compel Pence to help carry out a plan to overturn the election results.
In the hearing, it was noted that the committee walked through the idea that the former President was in favour of the legal theory that Pence could block certification of the election.
A former DOJ official was facing a criminal contempt of Congress referral for refusing to answer questions during a previous deposition. The committee voted on the contempt referral, but Clark’s lawyer informed them he would invoke his right to not answer questions in order to protect his client from being incriminated.
Clark was the former acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division and he is well known for his attempts to help Trump in the 2020 election. The committee raises the prospect that Clark broke the law. The Justice Department is already investigating Clark and federal agents have searched his home.
The committee zeroed in on the efforts of Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania who tried to get Clark into the White House.
CNN has previously reported on the role that Perry played, and the committee in court filings released text messages Perry exchanged with Meadows about Clark.
Cassidy Hutchinson, who was a former aide to Dennis Meadows, said in her deposition that “He wanted Mr. Jeff Clark to take over the Department of Justice.”
Giuliani, Trump’s onetime personal attorney and a lead architect of his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, met with the panel in May for more than nine hours.
Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the US Capitol attack on January 6, 2021.
The grand jury activity expands on previous investigative steps the Justice Department has taken to understand efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies in battleground states after the election.
One thing is for sure. The DOJ is racing against time. With the campaign season underway, Smith won’t have long to mount a prosecution. The reappearance of two former White House Counsels before the grand jury is believed to be a sign that the pace of his investigative work is ramping up.
The Governor’s Corner: Trump’s 21st Birthday, the Georgian House of Representatives, and the Future Threat to Truth and Democracy
The information already in the public realm is damning. On January 2, 2021, Trump spoke to the Secretary of State of Georgia who was obliged to find votes for him. He also suggested that Raffensperger could face criminal penalties if he didn’t do Trump’s bidding. Trump told Raffensperger that the ballots were corrupt. It is more illegal for you to not report what they have done than it is for them because you know what they have done. That is a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. That is a big risk.
“The president participated in two perfect phone calls regarding election integrity in Georgia, which he is entitled to do – in fact, as president, it was President Trump’s Constitutional duty to ensure election safety, security, and integrity,” the ex-president said in his statement.
The people of Georgia and the people of the country are angry. In one part of the call, Trump said there was nothing wrong with saying you have recalculated.
The Georgia Republican testified in summer about the threats he received after standing up to Trump, and has already spoken with the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.
In the event that DOJ agrees with one of the lesser charges, the political earthquake caused by a prosecution might not be much different from if Smith believed Trump had aided an insurrection. America has never seen a scenario in which the administration of a sitting president indicted a successor who is trying to oust them. And of course, if no case is made over January 6, Trump is also facing the possibility of charges in another Justice Department investigation – into his hoarding of classified material at his Mar-a-Lago resort after he left office.
But each sign that once slow burning efforts to work through the trauma of the post-election period are heating up brings a parallel warning that the future threat to truth and democracy remains acute. The Georgia legislator is involved in a controversy about the insurrection that she is expected to attempt to shut down or obstruction of investigations into Trump.
The Georgia Republican stated that if she had her way, the mob would have been armed. She rejected White House condemnations of her comments, by saying she was joking. This was just days after the ex-president made a demand for the end of the constitution in order to show how his potential second term could unfold if he is re-elected.
It is remarkable how tight a hold Trump’s unprecedented attempt to overturn a presidential election still has on Washington politics – even if many Americans are more concerned with feeding their families and paying rent amid raging inflation. And Trump’s campaign of lies is having a damaging impact. Even after Republicans won the House last month, a new CNN/SSRS poll published Monday found that only 34% of Republican-aligned adults are even somewhat confident that elections reflect the will of the people – down from 43% in October.
It has been over 700 days since the Washington Post published the full hour audio of that phone call, and the DOJ has yet to get around to subpoena him. When does it happen? Under Jack Smith.”
If the legal team thought that Smith’s appointment after a period spent abroad meant he was less likely to be influenced by the politicized aftermath of the January 6 attack, it was guilty of wishful thinking.
Preet Bharara, a former US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that Smith’s appointment and his assembling of a high-powered team of experienced prosecutors represented bad news for Trump.
Unless a serious possibility that the Justice Department was on a path to charge, they wouldn’t have left their former positions in government and private practice. And I think it’ll happen in a month,” he said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has vowed that no one is above the law and that investigations will go where the evidence leads. But the reality of the legal process means that any trials would take considerable time to prepare and conduct. The prospect of a prosecution of a former president and current presidential candidate is so politically explosive that it would be optimal for any proceedings to take place well before the climax of the 2024 White House race.
“We’re now coming up against a timeframe in which it is a challenge to finish either case, if it is brought, to finish it before the election,” said CNN legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers on “Newsroom” on Monday.
“So, I think they will bring a case on the documents side, if they can, as soon as they can,” Rodgers said, adding that any case on January 6 would probably take more time.
Smith is following legal procedures, but the political situation makes it incumbent on the DOJ to show Americans that it had no choice in conducting a search at an ex-president’s home.
The former president’s conduct is sure to face more withering scrutiny with the final report of the House January 6 committee, which wants to make its case for posterity before it is likely expunged by the incoming House GOP majority next year.
Given its tone and direction, it would be something of a surprise if the panel did not recommend the House refer Trump, among other aides, to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution when it wraps up. The committee has no power to level charges, and a symbolic step such as this would be meaningless. And the DOJ is not compelled to act on any recommendations. It would have to investigate whether professional prosecutors agreed with the conclusion that Congress was acting in its oversight role.
The committee did not include any cross examination of witnesses, so it is difficult to tell if the most incriminating testimony about Trump will hold up under the higher standard required in a court of law. Still, the report – and transcripts of its depositions expected to be sent to the DOJ – could be useful in fleshing out any criminal case by the special counsel, and in preparing the public for the possibility of any move by Smith to charge Trump.
That’s yet another reason why the turn of the year and the early months of 2023 are beginning to look like a moment of reckoning for both Trump and those who are investigating him.
The final House report could include additional charges proposed for Trump, according to the source. It will provide justification from the committee investigation for recommending the charges.
If someone could show me evidence that there was influence peddling with the classified documents that the president had, then we would definitely expand it. He went on to accuse Biden and his family of being “very cozy” with people from the Chinese Communist party but offered no evidence of such links or that they had anything to do with classified documents. The GOP claims the DOJ is employing a double standard against Trump because his committee is trying to find proof to condemn Biden but they are treating him differently.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a member of the committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Friday that the panel has “been very careful in crafting these recommendations and tethering them to the facts that we’ve uncovered.”
We spent a lot of time on facts and the fact that we will have a vote on the code section recommendation, even though we didn’t know much about it.
The Mueller investigation of the 2016 Atlanta mob attack on the US Capitol. A question hanging over the congressional committee on a criminal case against the former president
The Justice Department has tended to charge defendants with seditious conspiracy when they are charged for their role in the attack on the US Capitol.
The committee’s final report, which Chairman Bennie Thompson previously told NPR could be roughly 1,000 pages long, could be released as soon as Monday. The report’s appendices and transcripts of over 1,000 witness interviews are expected to be released on Wednesday.
One question hanging over the congressional committee, however, is whether the higher standard of evidence required by a court could lead prosecutors to believe it would be hard to convict the former president. While the committee’s hearings were packed with evidence suggesting a weeks-long pattern of wrongdoing by Trump, witnesses and evidence were not subjected to the kind of challenge and cross-examination seen in court, so it’s hard to judge the strength of any criminal case over Trump.
Lawmakers highlighted the plight of former Georgia election workers who were abused by Giuliani and others when they testified about the rigged results in Atlanta.
Republicans who were with Trump in the West Wing testified about his assault on the Constitution, including Cassidy Hutchinson. The ex-aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows recalled, “It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.”
The committee cites Section 1512 (c) (2) of Title 18 of the US code, which makes it a crime to “corruptly” obstruct, influence or impede any official proceeding or attempt to do so. Based on the panel’s presentation, it seems that Trump did everything in his power to derail the will of voters prior to the mob attack on Congress.
This is a person who tried to pressure officials to find votes they didn’t know existed. This is someone who tried to interfere with a joint session, even inciting a mob to attack the Capitol,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the January 6 committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. If it is not criminal, I have no idea what it is.
What Do Americans Really Want to Know About Donald Trump’s Insurrections During the December 6, 2017 Violence? The Case of Kinzinger and Greene
Will the appearance that Trump will be hounded by any referrals in the wake of his failed election campaign make people turn their backs on him?
At a time of high inflation and the outbreak of a once-in-a-century pandemic do Americans really care about the events that caused turmoil in US democracy nearly two years ago?
Kinzinger, who served on the committee in defiance of his party and was not going to return to congress, spoke about his actions in an effort to hold Trump to account in his retirement speech.
“Every American must consider this,” Cheney said at one of the committee’s public hearings, in July. “Can a president who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6 ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?”
Many of her fellow Republicans refused to even acknowledge the ex-president, suggesting that she may not have accomplished what she needed to in the House GOP. The public was riveted by this act of accountability as it was with the Senate Watergate hearings in the 1970s that helped lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. The power of conservative media may explain the discrepancy between the two.
The Americans rejected many of Trump’s popular candidates who had amplified his false claims of election fraud, suggesting some desire to protect American democracy.
It is impossible to quantify how the committee’s work affected voters in November. Even as Trump launched a new campaign designed to paint the probes into his conduct as politically motivated persecution, it kept alive the evidence of his insurrection in the news. This is especially valuable as some pro-Trump Republicans, like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, escalate their attempts to distort what happened in the unprecedented attack on the Capitol.
“This is a massive investigation that the committee has undertook. The former federal prosecutor said there were huge amounts of evidence and witnesses being identified.
It is the detail that accompanies the referrals, and the report, that will give a plan to the DOJ. The party has been late in playing catch up with the DOJ and that detail could be very helpful to them and will put a lot of pressure on them as well.
If nothing else, future generations will be able to judge the determination of the panel members, especially its two Republicans, and the courage of witnesses who told the truth to try save democracy.
The Illinois House Select Committee’s Report on Russian Interference in the 2016 January 6 Insurrection: Report on the Report, Report on Elections and Investigations
The Illinois Republican said the world is a place where a lie is Trump’s truth and democracy is being challenged by authoritarianism.
“If we, America’s elected leaders, do not search within ourselves for a way out, I fear that this great experiment will fall into the ash heap of history.”
These are serious accusations, but the committee has spent months interviewing witnesses, evaluating the evidence and putting together a full and coherent story about what led up to the January 6 insurrection, what happened that day and what played out in the aftermath.
The recommendations match the allegations the House select committee made against Trump and his elections attorney John Eastman in a previous court proceeding seeking Eastman’s emails.
Thompson said last week that the panel could issue up to six different categories of referrals beyond criminal referrals such as ethics referrals to the House Ethics Committee, bar discipline referrals and campaign finance referrals.
The meeting – which, unlike previous gatherings of the committee, is not a hearing with witnesses – will include a presentation and cover the names of people facing criminal and other referrals, as will as the basis for those referrals, Thompson said last week.
The last thing Adam Kinzinger would like to do is something quite dramatic, but he says the report will be one.
Thompson said the panel would release transcripts from more than 1,000 interviews they conducted throughout its investigation once the final report is released on Wednesday.
It’s very long. Thompson previously told NPR the final report could be eight chapters and 1,000 pages long. The report on Russian interference in the 2016 election was more than 400 pages.
Committee member Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., told NPR she came away from reading the Jan. 6 report “shocked by the breadth and depth of this plan to create a big lie and pull every lever of government to corrupt an election.”
“We’ve seen petty criminals who’ve been charged with misdemeanors for trespassing be held accountable, but not the masterminds of this, who really did try to corrupt the government and its processes,” Luria said.
“We’re not piling onto existing prosecutions,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin. “We’re wanting to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks and the crimes of the most serious gravity are attended to.”
The 2020 Democratic Electoral Correlations Committee: Investigating the ‘Fake’ Biden Campaign’ by Attorneys John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro
The committee laid out evidence against the people that they say pushed the strategy of derailing the certification of the election.
The Justice Department would not get criminal evidence without a referral, according to Dan Goldman, a former House impeachment lawyer. The panel could be considering referrals for witness intimidation, obstruction of justice and false statements made under oath, Goldman suggested.
“They want to make sure the Department of Justice also evaluates all of the evidence that they’ve uncovered, to be sure that they’re including everything in evaluating whether or not a crime was committed and the charges should be brought,” Goldman said.
NPR obtained a small portion of a draft script for the Monday meeting that shows the panel intends to accuse lawyers John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro of being tied to the conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The effort to overturn President Biden’s win was led by a Trump ally named Eastman who was thought to be a central figure in the scheme pushing for fake Trump electors in states which Biden won.
Goldman said that they could be subject to both criminal referrals and their state bar association to review whether they should continue with their bar licenses if they are making blatant misrepresentations.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona, could all face possible sanctions for their refusal to comply with committee subpoenas.
McCarthy said at a press conference last week he wasn’t concerned that he and his colleagues might face criminal referrals. We did nothing wrong.
The Mueller Investigation into the 2016 Analytic Investigation of the Giant Atrocity at the Pentagon: Investigating the Counting of Joe Biden with CNN
More than 900 people have been charged with crimes relating to the attack. Law enforcement has arrested alleged rioters in nearly all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
CNN will broadcast special coverage beginning at 12 p.m. It will stream live without requiring a cable log-in via CNN.com, CNN OTT and mobile apps, or CNNgo from 12 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.
In practice, the referral is effectively a symbolic measure. The Attorney General has already appointed a special counsel to look into two investigations related to the Trump campaign and it does not require the Justice Department to do so.
Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Committee, said that he has every confidence that the work of this committee will assist in providing a road map to justice, and that the agencies responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use information we provide to aid in their work.
Parlatore insisted Trump and his team “were not looking to overturn the will of the people, only to ensure that the will of the people was accurately counted,” adding that Trump was “absolutely opposed” to the violence that took place at the US Capitol.
If he is charged, Trump may be able to argue that he only wanted to protect the integrity of an election and not vote for someone else. The election audit in Georgia that confirmed Biden’s win and the actions of Republican election officials who said there wasn’t enough fraudulent activity to overturn the result contribute to the fact that Trump can’t be sure he won. The grand jury’s conclusions cement that impression.
Members stressed that Trump knew the election was not stolen but continued to push baseless claims about widespread voter fraud in an effort to upend Joe Biden’s legitimate victory.
The montage went step-by-step through Trump’s efforts to block his election loss, showed how his attacks upended the lives of election workers and played body-cam footage of officers attacked by rioters.
Where did the Causality Come from? How Donald Trump and his Allies Rove on the 2020 House Select Committee to Overturn the 2020 Election
How this all began is important to remember. While there was partisan squabbling over which Republicans would be allowed to serve on the panel, House Democrats were willing to give committee slots to GOP lawmakers who had literally voted to overturn the 2020 results. Republicans boycotted.
Cheney and Kinzinger are not outliers because they are against Trump. The committee is stacked with Trump detractors, and that is the core of Trump’s criticisms. Still, even if they oppose Trump, Cheney and Kinzinger are still deeply conservative Republicans. Kinzinger and Cheney will not be returning to Congress next year.
During Monday’s hearing, Kinzinger described how his House GOP colleagues were complicit in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. He said there was proof that Trump wanted Justice Department officials to put the facade of legitimacy on his voter fraud claims so Republican congressmen wouldn’t doubt the vote.
No matter what Trump and his allies say, Democrats will forever be able to accurately assert that the panel’s findings, conclusions, its final report and its criminal referrals are bipartisan.
Thompson said the committee’s full report will come out later this week. This will be a historical document that will be studied for generations. Never before has a sitting president tried to steal a second term.
These upcoming releases will provide fodder to Trump’s critics. A key demand from Trump’s allies will be the disclosure of the full context of the interviews. Until now, the panel has not given any information as to which witness interviews got played at public hearings.
The most urgent framing of a perennial question about Trump is: will he ever face accountability for his rule-breaking conduct? The question is especially acute given that the norm crushed this time almost toppled US democracy.
The issue of accountability gets to the core of Raskin’s comment about foot soldiers – since many of those who were in the mob that trashed the Capitol have been convicted and jailed already. And since winning the White House in 2016, Trump repeatedly avoided paying political and legal prices as the ultimate example of a “ringleader” who skips past judgment. Former special counsel Robert Mueller, for example, unearthed a trove of information apparently showing Trump obstructed the Russia investigation but decided not to make a finding that the then-president committed crimes. Most Republicans in the Senate found reasons not to convict Trump, despite him being the first president to be impeached twice.
Trump should be charged with making false statements, giving aid or comfort to an insurrection, obstructing official proceeding, and defrauding the US, according to the panel. The committee believed that the cause of January 6 was one man, former President Donald Trump. … None of the events of January 6 would have happened without him.”
The DOJ has its own investigation into the events surrounding the insurrection and will have to weigh whether the case stands up as well in a court of law as it seemed to in the Capitol Hill committee room on Monday afternoon.
“The Justice Department has to go so much further on every single one of these people who was touched and interviewed and seen by the committee in any way,” former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe said on CNN on Monday.
The nature of the committee, which featured little cross examination of witnesses and used curated video excerpts to make its most strident case, means that it is impossible to get a full picture of all of the evidence. Some witnesses might have made statements that were favorable to Trump and that would be used by his lawyers in court.
“It sounds like he is trying to lock in their testimony, to understand how they would testify at trial, whether it is incriminating evidence against Trump or exculpatory evidence that the prosecutors would then have that and have it solidified.”
One particular complication for the Justice Department is that the nature of the insurrection and the involvement of a former president makes this an unprecedented case. A defense team can try to muddy the question of what Trump really thought about the election by reframing his intentions. They could also claim that in telling supporters to “fight like hell” to save their country, he was simply exercising his constitutional rights to free speech. Special counsel Jack Smith and Garland would have to satisfy themselves before laying charges that there was a substantial likelihood of obtaining a conviction if they decided to prosecute, after considering the likely thrust of Trump’s defense.
Rod Rosenstein, who served as deputy attorney general in the Trump Justice Department, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that the most serious referral – accusing Trump of giving aid and comfort to an insurrection – would likely come up against a First Amendment defense.
“The Department would have to prove that the president’s comments were directed at inciting imminent lawless action. In other words, they’d actually have to prove he intended for a mob to engage in violent activity. That would be a challenge to prosecute him under that charge.
One way that the committee can help Smith is by showing the public that a former president could be brought to justice, even if they didn’t support him. Attempted coups are, after all, more akin to fragile developing world democracies and dictatorships.
“No man who would behave that way at that moment in time can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again. He is unfit for any office,” the Wyoming Republican said on Monday.
Why did Trump’s January 6 protest against the 2020 election be so deadly? The shocking story of an opportunistic congressional committee
The author of the book ‘OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My generation got left behind’ is a journalist based in New York. Follow her on the social media site. The opinions expressed are of her own. CNN has an opinion on it.
That conclusion is extraordinary, unprecedented and wholly necessary exactly two years after Trump sent a late-night tweet to his supporters to come to Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, promising that it “will be wild!”
The committee reported on a shocking attack on American democracy which the nation has not fully grasped. Those who attempt to level our democratic institutions can simply walk away. If attempts to topple it are washed away, can a democracy thrive?
The former president and others have been referred by the committee to the Department of Justice for assisting or aiding an insurrection. The panel calls on congressional committees of jurisdiction to create a “formal mechanism” for evaluating whether those individuals who violate that section of the 14th Amendment should be barred from future federal or state office.
That story is damning. Witnesses testified that Trump knew that the January 6 protest over the 2020 election had spun out of control into violent chaos and was told repeatedly that he should ask rioters to leave. According to the panel, he did not do it for hours even though he watched the carnage on television.
There is plenty of evidence Trump — and his team — knew he lost, that the allegations of fraud were baseless and that he knew what he was doing, according to testimony from multiple former Trump administration officials.
What Happened to Liz Cheney on November 13, 2016: The Democratic Case for the Establishment of a Peaceable Handover in the U.S.
Liz Cheney talked about what happened that day. The United States has been a great democratic experiment, and since George Washington turned the office of the president over to John Adams, the American tradition of the peaceful transfer of power has been an integral part of our nation’s stability and well-being.
In America’s proud democratic history, no President has ever done what Trump did: try to install himself in office by disputing the results of a free and fair election, Cheney said.
There are political and legal solutions for the situation in which a former president would encourage his followers to subvert American democracy and break our national tradition of a peaceful handover.
It seems like a foregone conclusion they will claim that the charges are politicized and trumped-up, leveled because Trump is a threat to the “swamp” and “deep state,” and that Democrats fear him so much they are willing to shut him down using any means necessary. An indictment would be hugely divisive in an already-divided nation.
But it’s worse to allow a former leader to destroy the nation’s trust in elections and its democratic processes. If there is no penalty, what will prevent others from doing the same in the future?
There is no evidence that Trump regrets his actions. He continues to spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and even before the 2022 midterms, he was planning to replay his election fraud claim if his favored candidates lost. If he wins again, he may use his power to destroy American democracy as we know it.
The conclusion is unlikely to sway any of Trump’s hardcore base, who are mostly unswayable. It could be a factor in the Republican Party turmoil, with different opinions of who should lead their ticket in eight years. Many Republicans want to move beyond Trump, with his unfiltered bigotry and never-ending drama and posse of hucksters and reprobates. But many of those same Republicans fear the stubborn and loud Trump base.
The GOP has become so intellectually bankrupt that it didn’t even bother with a platform in the last presidential election, instead essentially saying that its policy positions are whatever Trump wants. Some Republicans seem to be ok with America being run by a dictator as long as it is their guy.
But other Republicans understand just how big a monster they’ve created and don’t like where this horror story is going. They should demand that the US justice system does its job.
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There is not a perfect way to handle such a situation. Truth and reconciliation are needed by nations that have undergone trauma. They don’t paper over and forget what happened.
The January 6 committee’s findings, and its referral to the Department of Justice, are the first step. The next step in the case should be to take it to the American justice system, where a case must be built against a person with a reasonable doubt.
With a divided electorate and millions not paying attention to the evidence presented by the committee, there is a state of American politics just two weeks before the two-year anniversary of the riot.
Jamie Raskin said that the system of justice is not where foot soldiers go to jail and the masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass.
All are close allies of Trump, and their resistance in the face of the rules has been emblematic of the antagonistic style of U.S. politics that was growing even before Trump came on the scene.
McCarthy is in line to be the next speaker of the House and Republicans will have control over the ethics committee in the next Congress, which may affect what happens to them.
That’s been evident to those of us who’ve covered Trump for a while, but it was affirmed by Hope Hicks, a former communications adviser in the Trump White House, someone who was very close to Trump.
During the course of these hearings, we heard testimony from a woman who said that she told Trump she was becoming concerned that false claims of fraud were damaging his legacy.
“He told me that if I lose he won’t care about my legacy and the only thing that matters is winning,” she said.
“He was—he had—usually he had pretty clear eyes,” said Bill Stepien, the Trump 2020 campaign manager, according to written testimony released in a report by the committee. “Like, he understood, you know — you know, we told him where we thought the race was, and I think he was pretty realistic with our viewpoint, in agreement with our viewpoint of kind of the forecast and the uphill climb we thought he had.”
Stepien added: “We’d have to, you know, relay the news that, yeah, that tip that someone told you about those votes or that fraud or, you know, nothing came of it. That would be our job as, you know, the truth telling squad and, you know, not — not a fun job to be, you know, much — it’s an easier job to be telling the president about, you know, wild allegations. It’s difficult to say that that wasn’t true on the back end.
Report of a Special Counsel Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Investigations of the Trump-Meadows Investigations
One of Trump’s campaign lawyers, Alex Cannon, in a mid-to-late November phone call with former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, said, per the report, that he found nothing “sufficient to change the results in any of the key States.”
The top allies of Trump acknowledged there was no proof of the former president’s claims.
It’s no secret that the country is divided politically, particularly among Republicans. People have been watching the testimony from Republicans who were aligned with Trump, despite the primary evidence.
“Although the Committee’s hearings were viewed live by tens of millions of Americans and widely publicized in nearly every major news source, the Committee also recognizes that other news outlets and commentators have actively discouraged viewers from watching, and that millions of other Americans have not yet seen the actual evidence addressed by this Report.”
There is evidence to suggest those who watched were moved. Before the hearings, just 48% of independents in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll said they thought Trump was to blame a “great deal” or “good amount” for what happened that day. In July, after several hearings, the percentage blaming Trump went up to 57%.
They do not have to act on what the Jan. 6 committee recommends, though investigators are paying close attention to the details of its findings. But don’t expect to hear much about the special counsel’s progress, as the DOJ tends to stay pretty quiet, if not wholly silent, on the details of ongoing investigations until they present them in court.
Politically, it’s going to be up to voters to choose. Support for Trump is likely to stay with his base. Republicans have been the least likely to pay attention to these hearings. In a multi-candidate primary, Trump remains the front-runner for the GOP nomination.
But he’s in legal trouble in multiple states, not just federally, and many of his preferred candidates — and election deniers — lost in swing states. The threat he poses to U.S. democracy and faith in its elections can be seen in many ways, from the chaos that surrounds him to the fact that his brand isn’t a winner in competitive states where the Republicans likely need to win to take over the White House and Congress.
The investigation of the Dec. 6 Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol: A big week for the Democratic-led Senate committee investigating the August 6 attack
Some members of this committee, some who won’t be returning to Congress because of the backlash from Trump’s base, hope voters respond.
Special counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee parts of the DOJ’s investigation into the insurrection, sent a letter to the committee earlier this month requesting all of the information from the panel’s investigation, one of the sources told CNN.
This week is a big week for the committee. During the final public meeting of the panel, committee members voted to refer former President Donald Trump to the DOJ on at least four criminal charges. The panel is slated to release its full final report on Wednesday.
Some of the most explosive moments of the committee’s investigation stemmed from records the committee obtained, from text messages of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and other top aides to emails from conservative lawyer John Eastman about Vice President Mike Pence’s role on January 6.
But whether the department brings charges will depend on whether the facts and the evidence support a prosecution, Garland, who will make the ultimate call on charging decisions, has said.
Nearly two years after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Democratic-led House committee investigating the attack is set to release its full report Thursday.
In a statement released Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., praised the committee’s work, but did not outline what she sees as the next steps for the referrals of the four House members.
“The Committee has reached important conclusions about the evidence it has developed, and I respect those findings. Our Founders made clear that, in the United States of America, no one is above the law. Pelosi stated that justice must be done.
The Electoral Count Act Committee Report on the Ivanka Trump and Kushner Negatively-Recently Charged Assassinated Elections
There is bipartisan support for the Electoral Count Act bill and it is attached to a spending bill moving through Congress.
The committee says it also has the evidence to refer Eastman on the obstruction charge, and it names him as a co-conspirator in other alleged criminal activity lawmakers have gathered evidence on.
According to the findings from the committee’s investigation, Trump knew the fraud allegations he was pushing were false, and continued to amplify them anyway.
According to the report, even though Giuliani claimed in public that the machines stole the election, he admitted during his Select Committee deposition that he didn’t think they did.
“For example, the Trump Campaign, along with the Republican National Committee, sent millions of emails to their supporters, with messaging claiming that the election was ‘rigged,’ that their donations could stop Democrats from ‘trying to steal the election,’ and that Vice President Biden would be an ‘illegitimate president’ if he took office,’” the summary states.
Lawyers who receive payments from the Trump political committee have an incentive to defend the former president, according to the committee. The Department of Justice and the Fulton County District Attorney have received information about this topic.
In one instance, a witness whose lawyer was being paid by a Trump-allied group was told she could “in certain circumstances, tell the Committee that she did not recall facts when she actually did recall them.” When the witness raised concerns with her lawyer, he simply said they didn’t know what she knew. They don’t know that you can recall some of these things. So you saying ‘I don’t recall’ is an entirely acceptable response to this,” according to the report summary.
When it came to a specific issue that reflected negatively on Trump, the lawyer told his client, “No, no, no, no, no. We don’t want to go. We don’t want to talk about that.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner previously testified to the House select committee, which expired in January after Republicans took control of the House. Committee members stressed that referrals of the former president to the Justice Department were symbolic but they were used as a way to document their views because Congress wouldn’t bring charges.
In Radford’s recollection, the name-calling was upsetting to Ivanka at the time, but when the committee asked Ivanka whether there were any “particular words” her father used in the conversation with Pence, “She answered simply: ‘No.’”
Creating a Constitutional Crisis: Why the Justice Department should not have to prosecute a White House official during a Presidential Campaign to Overturn Elections
“This was an intentional choice by Jeff Clark to contradict specific Department findings on election fraud, and purposely insert the Department into the Presidential election on President Trump’s behalf and risk creating or exacerbating a constitutional crisis,” the summary states.
The summary’s section outlining the referrals makes a case for why the Justice Department’s prosecutions should extend beyond the rioters who physically breached the Capitol.
“If President Trump and the associates who assisted him in an effort to overturn the lawful outcome of the 2020 election are not ultimately held accountable under the law, their behavior may become a precedent and invitation to danger for future elections,” the summary says. Failure to hold them accountable could potentially lead to future unlawful efforts to overturn our elections, threatening the security and viability of our Republic.
Other officials who faced off with Trump received death threats, rape threats, and an explosion of phone calls and emails, as well as some of them feared for their safety.
The evidence shows that Trump’s allies were aware that their conduct was problematic and that they were seeking pardons.
The summary points to previously public accounts of pardon requests from members of Congress, while providing new details of Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s alleged attempt for a pardon, which had been discussed in the public committee testimony of ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
The report shows that key messages police had seen among Trump’s supporters on online forums were included in an intelligence assessment.
On January 3, 2021, the Department of Justice received a synopsis of a plan to occupy the Capitol. According to testimony from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, then-Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist predicted on a National Security Council call that the Capitol could be the target of violence.
The panel suggests former White House deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato failed to adequately serve as the intermediary between the intelligence community and the White House when it came to security updates ahead of January 6.
The head of Trump’s Security detail testified to the Committee that he gave critical information to Ornato in order to convey messages to the White House.
Ornato said he would have made sure thatMeadows was aware of the demos which he received, even if he had not talked to him about concerns about the threat landscape going into January 6. So he most likely was getting all this in his daily brief as well.”
Hope Hicks, Trump’s former communications director, texted spokesman Hogan Gidley as the violence was unfolding on January 6 that she had “suggested…several times” on January 4 and 5 that Trump should publicly state that January 6 remain peaceful. Hicks also testified that Herschmann advised Trump to make a preemptive public statement ahead of January 6 calling for there to be no violence that day. No such statement was ever made.
“Based on the information it has obtained, the Committee believes that Cipollone and others can provide direct testimony establishing that President Trump refused repeatedly, for multiple hours, to make a public statement directing his violent and lawless supporters to leave the Capitol,” the summary says.
The driver and agent of Trump’s SUV testified to the panel that they did not remember what happened that day.
“So to the best of my recollection, I recall him being – wanting to saying that he wanted to physically walk and be a part of the march and then saying that he would ride the Beast if he needed to, ride in the Presidential limo,” McEnany said.
The report summary wants to show that Trump’s call for supporters to go to the Capitol was pre- planned.
The committee notes that the January 6 rally mastermind sent a message to the MyPIllow CEO. … I will be in a lot of trouble with the national park service and all the agencies so it doesn’t seem right that I let you know about the march.
President Trump did not talk to a national security official on the day. The committee did not visit any of the following: the Pentagon, Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Capitol Police Department, D.C. Mayor’s office, or F.B.I. “As Vice President Pence has confirmed, President Trump didn’t even try to reach his own Vice President to make sure that Pence was safe.”
Milley told the committee that he had reacted to Trump as the commander in chief. You’ve got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America. And there’s nothing? No call? Is there nothing? Zero?
The president’s photographer was not to take photographs for the rest of the day, according to former White House photographer Shealah Craighead.
The Congressional Select Committee on the Mueller Investigation of the January 6, 2016 Reaction of a Former Campaign Manager for President Donald J.P. Parscale
On the evening of January 6, Brad Parscale, a former campaign manager for Trump, said that he felt guilty helping his client win, according to the report.
McCarthy reached out to Trump family members during the riot in order to diffuse the situation, as said by Trump son-in-law and former White House senior adviser.
The GOP congresswoman wrote a text to Mark stating that there was an active shooter in the Capitol. This is not the way to solve a problem according to the summary.
The committee reveals a conversation Trump had with a White House employee upon returning to the White House after his speech on January 6. There are huge gaps in information regarding Trump’s actions when he came back to the White House and called off the rioters.
And where the House select committee hit brick walls in its probe – including with recalcitrant witnesses who claimed privileges, or, like Mark Meadows, bailed on cooperating with congressional investigators midway through – DOJ prosecutors now working under Smith will have certain tools to dismantle those barriers. They include ongoing legal proceedings about piercing the shield of confidentially that normally surrounds a president.
The committee released its report and summary this week, but has already started releasing some of the transcripts from closed-door depositions, including interviews with numerous witnesses who invoked their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
The section of the Constitution that states that someone who has taken an oath to support the Constitution, but engaged in an insurrection, can be disqualified from office has been zeroed in on by the panel.
A Subcommittee Summary of the Report on Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration: The Attack on Congress and the DC National Guard
There were no new bombshells in the report that the committee released Thursday, but instead the committee focused on laying out the detail of its investigation.
The report gave an in-depth account of what happened in the two months leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20, 2021.
It’s a narrative that expands upon the committee’s public hearings over the summer, walking readers step-by-step through the various schemes Trump orchestrated and the help he had from allies inside and outside his administration.
The main headline of the report was all about Trump, but the final report also showed a picture of the attack on Congress, in addition to law enforcement preparedness and failures.
The committee interviewed the Mayor of the District of Columbia, as well as police force heads.
The select committee also says it interviewed 24 witnesses and reviewed 37,000 pages of documents for a review of the response of the DC National Guard, which attempts to explain the delayed response of the force to the Capitol.
The committee was told, for instance, that commander of the DC National Guard, Major Gen. William Walker, “strongly” considered deploying troops to the US Capitol on the afternoon of January 6 without approval from his superiors even if it meant he would have to resign the next day.
An investigative panel said thatngel did not describe the exchange in the way Hutchinson had described it, and that Ornato didn’t recall President Trump gesturing at him.
The new Congress expects more transcripts from witness testimony to be available in the days before the committee is dissolved.
Several parties will be eagerly awaiting their release, including GOP lawmakers and Trump himself, who is still facing legal scrutiny on several fronts related to his role in the January 6 insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
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He is adding two longtime associates who have specialized in public corruption cases, according to a person familiar with the matter: Raymond Hulser, the former chief of the DOJ’s public integrity section, and David Harbach, who conducted cases against former Sen. John Edwards and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.
The expansion under Smith shores up the office’s ability to examine broad conspiracy cases and determine the avenues of the investigation, another source said. The DOJ brought in more than 20 prosecutors and senior advisers earlier this year who were already investigating Trump and his allies.
On Thursday, CNN interviewed Harbach at the courthouse in DC, where he spoke to a prosecutor about extremist group cases and sat in on an ongoing Oath Keepers trial.
Smith sent subpoenas to election officials in some of the battleground states. Included in the response from Michigan’s secretary of state is an email from a county official who was reporting two voicemails they received in December 2020 from individuals seeking access to voting equipment. One call came from someone claiming to work for Trump’s post-election legal team, the clerk wrote.
“POTUS expectations are to have something intimate at the ellipse, and call on everyone to march to the capitol,” rally organizer Katrina Pierson wrote in an email days before the Capitol attack.
“My father doesn’t use text messaging or email,” Donald Trump Jr. told congressional investigators during his interview. As for other messaging apps, “I’m not sure he’d even know what they were,” Trump Jr. said.
Trump’s style of making ambiguous asks rather than direct demands was also on display as he pressed state officials to upend the election results. Mike Shirkey, a former Senate majority leader in Michigan, said that he remembers that he never made a specific ask. The topics were always general.
Campaign staff testified that Trump was behind the drive to carry out the maneuver, and the panel collected other evidence that Trump was in the loop about its operation – including with a phone call to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
According to the evidence collected by the committee, many of the state-based operatives and fraudulent electors themselves were largely in the dark about what the endgame of the gambit was. Several of them testified that they thought alternate electors would be assembled as a contingency plan if Trump won the legal challenge.
Meanwhile, top Trump campaign officials distanced themselves from the effort after the last prominent election challenge – a far-fetched petition at the Supreme Court – petered out on December 11, 2020.
Exposing Trump Against the Decline of the 2020 Election: Judicious Correlation Between Mark Meadows and the House Selector, Hutchinson
According to a New York University School of Law professor, the DOJ would have a much easier case to prove with Congress certification in mind.
A memo outlining the plan on December 9 suggests those advisers saw the alternate electors crucial not only in the event of a court ruling that reversed Trump’s electoral loss, but if a “state legislature” or “Congress” deemed the Trump electors as the valid ones.
The committee has evidence that shows Meadows involvement in some level in every ploy to overturn the election. The most important evidence came from the thousands of text messages that he turned over to the committee before he stopped cooperating with the investigation.
According to testimony from a former White House aide, Donald Trump, along with his former attorney Rudy Giuliani, were involved in early discussions about putting forward fake slates of electors.
Transcripts released by the committee also reveal that Hutchinson testified before the committee how Meadows regularly burned documents in his fireplace around a dozen times – about once or twice a week – between December 2020 and mid-January 2021.
The Department of Justice and the Fulton County District Attorney may now have access to witness testimony and records that have been unavailable to the Committee, including testimony from President Trumps Chief of Staff MarkMeadows and others who invoked their Fifth Amendment rights.
“When it comes to the President, he committed no crime so there should absolutely be no prosecutions related to him,” said Timothy Parlatore, one of Trump’s attorneys.
The two people who were hired to search for Trump properties were the only two people who went along with it.
By pushing for access to computers, investigators are trying to determine if there is an electronic paper trail regarding the classified documents, another source said.
Biden and Pence may have cooperated with the FBI and DOJ more than Trump did after some classified documents were found at their properties. It took a search warrant for the FBI to get into Mar-a-Lago, because the ex-president claimed that documents from his time in office belonged to him. But voters might find it hard to understand nuanced legal differences between the two cases – a factor the House Republican counter-attack based on Biden’s documents made more likely.
A New Look at the Mar-A-Lago Special Counsel Probe of Donald J. Trump’s Corrupt Practice and the Retention of Secret Documents
Special counsel Jack Smith and the prosecutors who work for him have used the federal grand jury to question witnesses weekly in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.
The twice-impeached president started his first two-state campaign swing on Saturday as he seeks a political comeback.
It looked like the campaign was going to be more of a distraction from criminal probes after Monday, when Trump appeared to grow exposed in two strands of legal peril.
Still, Trump is a master of leveraging attempts to call him to account, legally and politically. He built a foundation for his new presidential quest around the idea that he is being political persecution by the DOJ and that there are rogue Democratic prosecutors.
The justice system will be stopped from being weaponized. The justice system has never been like this. On the trail over the weekend the ex-president said it was all an investigation.
This is a message that may be attractive to some of Trump’s base voters who themselves feel alienated from the federal government and previously bought into his claims about a “deep state” conspiracy against him. This technique is used by strongman leaders to argue that he is taking the heat so his followers do not have to, that is a familiar page in the authority playbook of demagogues.
Those discoveries allowed Trump to claim that he was being unfairly singled out, even if the cases have significant differences. There is a chance that any attempt by Trump to argue that he inadvertently took documents from the government will be undermined by the fact that he claimed the material was his and not the government.
Fresh indications of the momentum in the Trump documents special counsel probe followed the latest sign of a lopsided approach to the controversy over classified material by House Republicans, who are hammering Biden over documents but giving Trump a free pass.
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee was asked why he hadn’t bothered to look at the more than 325 documents found at Trump’s house but focused on a smaller number of documents found at Biden’s home.
The two special counsel investigations probing Trump and Biden’s retention of secret documents are unfolding independently. There is no overlap between them. If findings are made public, they will both be in the same boat.
The Fulton County Superior Court Judge’s Order for the 2020 Georgian Presidential Election, a Case of Special Purpose Investigations that Never Collided With Witnesses
As the political repercussions of the classified documents furor deepened on Monday, a reminder of the treatment that can await lower-ranking members of the federal workforce when secret material is taken home came to mind.
The retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, who kept files with classified information at his Florida home, will plead guilty next month, according to court documents.
They found, unanimously, “that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election.” And damningly, a majority of the grand jury said that they believe witnesses may have lied to them while under oath — and that the district attorney should issue indictments where appropriate.
There are due process concerns for people that the report says are likely violators of state laws, but three sections of the document can not be released until Thursday, according to an order released Monday by a Fulton County Superior Court Judge.
Portions of the grand jury’s final report, released last week, made it clear that the grand jury believed perjury charges were warranted for some witnesses. Kohrs earlier on Tuesday also told The New York Times that the grand jury recommended multiple indictments, though she didn’t provide names.
After a Jan. 24 hearing, the district attorney’s office objected to the report becoming public, and a group of media outlets agreed with them.
McBurney’s order is a slight compromise, writing that certain parts of the report should be shared with the public while others merit secrecy until further action by prosecutors.
Unlike regular grand juries, which meet for a much more limited time and consider multiple cases, this rarely used body spent roughly eight months interviewing more than 70 witnesses and gathering evidence, though it did not have the power to issue indictments.
Jurors voted to have that report made public, but the judge had questions about the applicability of prior precedents that have generally barred such reports from outlining alleged crimes without an indictment.
McBurney found that the unique nature of the special purpose grand jury left him with a decision that is not that simple, calling the investigation appropriately to a one-sided exploration that means it would not be a good idea to have it public outside of court.
“We have to be mindful of protecting future defendants’ rights,” Willis said. “We want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly, and we think for future defendants to be treated fairly, it’s not appropriate at this time to have this report released.”
The special grand jury report sheds light on how the panel, which had 26 members, ran behind closed doors over the past several months.
The Special Grand Jury in Georgia for Investigating Trump Activities During the 2020 Georgia Referendum to the Georgian Vice President. On Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020
In document preservation requests to Georgia officials in February 2021, Willis said she was investigating potential crimes, including solicitation of election fraud, making false statements to government bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and violence or threats related to election administration.
Trump lost to Joe Biden in Georgia by nearly 12,000 votes in 2020. The former president has insisted that there was nothing problematic about his activities contesting the election.
Cunningham added to CNN that “there is no doubt that whatever (the report is) referring to is either conduct that was done directly by Donald Trump or done on his behalf.”
“That would tell us that this cross section of citizens, having spent nine months working hard at this, has concluded that at least some of what was done on behalf of the former president to overturn the election results was a crime,” he said. “I think that’s terrifically significant.”
The Georgia probe was set off nearly two years ago by an hourlong January 2021 phone call from Trump to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” the votes necessary for Trump to win the Peach State. Trump has referred to it as a “perfect” phone call.
The final report of the special grand jury, which was banned from issuing indictments, included interviews with 75 witnesses, including Giuliani, Kemp and Graham.
Its final report is likely to include some summary of the panel’s investigative work, as well as any recommendations for indictments and the alleged conduct that led the panel to its conclusions.
There is a grand jury in Fulton County that could make a decision if the findings of the special jury are turned over to them.
The pages released Thursday do not name any witnesses alongside that recommendation and do not provide any other details about the witness testimony the special grand jury heard.
The Fulton County Prosecutor’s Grand Jury Investigates the Trump’s Call-to-Cell Interference Experiment
The most obvious and pressing question stemming from the Fulton County investigation is: Will Trump be indicted? The excerpts of the report that came out Thursday didn’t move the ball forward in answering that question. Trump’s name – or the name of any subject of the investigation or witness – wasn’t mentioned.
The implications of Willis’ decisions couldn’t be higher. The 2024 presidential campaign is already kicking into gear, and Willis’ decision on charging Trump could potentially scramble the Republican primary field.
Trump did not testify before the panel. In a statement Thursday, his campaign again touted his “perfect” phone calls to Georgia election officials, saying he did nothing wrong.
The grand jury also reviewed physical and digital evidence, as well as the testimony from investigators and the input of team of assistant district attorneys who outlined for the grand jury the applicable statutes and procedures.
Most of the Grand Jury used their best efforts to attend every session, listen to every witness and try to understand the law as it was explained according to excerpts.
Three of the nine pages released Thursday didn’t provide much information on the investigation’s findings.
To face the consequences of their lie, former President Donald Trump and his associates must be held accountable. It’s time for his supporters to see the truth.
He continued, “And you can’t let it happen and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. I want to do this. I want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.
What will you do if you happen to be a liberal Democrat? An investigation of what Biden did in Fulton County, Georgia, in 2020
They should take a page from this special grand jury’s book. It seems highly unlikely that every member of this jury was a liberal Democrat. While Biden won 76.2% of the vote in Fulton County in 2020, there were surely Trump supporters and people who usually vote for Republicans among the jurors. And yet those voters were able to set aside their partisan interests, recognize the weight of the task they were assigned and the power they held, and behave accordingly. They gave the evidence a fair read; they made recommendations that were, hopefully, based on the information before them and not on partisan interests. They were asked to assess the evidence before them in order to decide if there was enough to bring any criminal charges.
They were asked to assess whether it’s possible that a former president and his allies had leveraged an attack on American democracy, or whether that president was telling the truth when he said the election was stolen.
That conclusion isn’t a very good one, since many GOP members oppose any efforts to Determine Responsibility for Election Fraud lies and have instead doubled down on them.
Even after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol shocked the nation and left several dead, Republicans have mostly opposed efforts to determine what exactly happened and how.
If an average person can complete this task with integrity and honesty, then it shouldn’t be too much for Republican officeholders to ask about the election being free and fair.
If there is enough evidence to win a case like this and if Willis concludes the same thing, it is not certain whether he will be indicted. But the answer may be coming soon.
“I am convinced there will be indictments, either for perjury or for other crimes,” Thomas Dupree, a former deputy assistant attorney general in ex-President George W. Bush’s administration, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
Norm Eisen, a former diplomat and legal and ethics expert, told CNN on Thursday that the conclusion was a possibly important building block in any case against Trump. The finding “goes right to the core of what Donald Trump has been claiming happened in Georgia. It repudiates him,” Eisen said on CNN “Newsroom”
“It also establishes a basis for bringing charges – you couldn’t bring charges without this kind of a conclusion – on solicitation of election fraud. It is another nail in the coffin that was already full.
The former attorney general of the Bush administration cautioned that it would be wrong to be excited by the events in Georgia.
According to Georgia law, a felony has been committed if someone solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise tries to cause the other person to engage in such conduct. The report suggests that Trump committed these acts several times during the time period between the Election Day of 2020 and January 6, 2021, when Congress delayed certification of the election.
The foreperson of the Atlanta-based grand jury that investigated former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election told CNN on Tuesday that the panel is recommending multiple indictments and suggested “the big name” may be on the list.
Emily KOHRS told CNN she can’t imagine doing this for eight months and not having a whole list of recommended indictments. It is not a short list. It is not.
She continued, “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect. But the big name that everyone keeps asking me about – I don’t think you will be shocked.”
Do more than a dozen indictments will be brought as part of the grand jury investigation? CNN’s Erin Burnett Out Front
She said she believes that more than 12 indictments will be brought as part of the investigation.
Asked by CNN’s Kate Bolduan on “Erin Burnett OutFront” whether the number of people was “more than a dozen,” Kohrs replied: “I believe so. It is probably a good assumption.
I’m positive I’ve heard the president on the phone more than once, she said. CNN previously reported that at least one additional call by Trump to a Georgia state official was part of the investigation.
Despite Trump’s claims that the prosecutors are liberal zealots on a “witch hunt,” Kohrs said she believed Willis and her team acted in a non-partisan fashion and tried to keep the proceedings fair.
“I don’t believe there was bias on the part of the DA’s team,” she told CNN in the phone interview. They were always very worried about inadvertently coloring our opinions one way or the other. They told us that they didn’t want their opinions to have an effect on our opinions or knowledge.
“Personally, I hope to see her take almost any kind of decisive action, to actually do something,” Kohrs said. There are too many times in recent history when someone has got called out for something, and nothing ever happens.
“How often does something actually happen? I would love to see that happen. Don’t make me take back my faith in the system,” Kohrs said. If this whole thing disappears, I would be disappointed. That’s the only thing that would make me sad.”
Special Counsel Michael Flynn: Resolving the Phenomenology of the December 12, 2016 Presidential Reionization Reheating Outburst
The foreperson also told CNN that she was “pleasantly surprised” by the friendliness of some witnesses, including key Trump insiders like former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, even though he invoked privilege and declined to answer some questions.
When some people fought not to be there, they were willing to have a conversation, and I respect that. In person, Flynn was very nice. He was a very nice man. He was intriguing. But I don’t recall him saying anything earth-shattering.”
Several of the most prominent witnesses, including the Trump White House chief of staff, were able to use the Fifth Amendment or cite various legal privileges.
A source familiar with the matter said that the ex-chief of staff of Mike Pence appeared before a grand jury. His appearance was previously reported by The Associated Press.
When Kate asked if there will be indictments in Georgia and at the federal level, Timothy said that he would not expect that to happen.
“They were present for really significant events. The special counsel will want to hear about the president’s understanding of the election results and also what happened on January 6. And they both had direct communications with him about the events preceding the riot at the Capitol,” he said.
The special counsel has a massive amount of evidence already in-hand that it now needs to comb through, including evidence recently turned over by the House January 6 committee, subpoena documents provided by local officials in key states and discovery collected from lawyers for Trump allies late last year in a flurry of activity, at least some of which had not been reviewed as of early January, sources familiar with the investigation told CNN at the time.
“He will not stop because of a family relationship, because of purported executive privilege,” Heaphy said of Smith. He believes the law entitles him to all the information, and he is determined to get it.