A member of the House select committee investigating the causes of the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol building says that former President Donald Trump will likely be indicted for his role in the day’s events, as well as his attempts to overturn the legitimate outcome of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to President Joe Biden.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) spoke on Saturday as a guest on Yahoo News’s “Skulduggery” podcast. His commentary on the prospects of Trump facing criminal charges relating to the Capitol attack came just a few days after the January 6 committee voted unanimously to send criminal referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider in charging Trump and some of his allies.
The Justice Department does not have to abide by the criminal referrals, which still have to be voted on by the full House of Representatives. But Raskin said he would “really be surprised” if Attorney General Merrick Garland didn’t move to indict Trump, based on the committee’s findings.
“There’s just deep culpability from the very beginning in everything that Donald Trump did,” Raskin explained.
To the Maryland congressman, it’s “very, very important that we establish that it’s not just foot soldiers, but kingpins who are prosecuted,” Raskin said on the podcast. “And it’s just wrong to send hundreds of foot soldiers to jail and leave the very clear kingpin unprosecuted” — the kingpin, of course, refers to the former president.
I’m very serious about him facing the consequences and paying for the cost of his action. He could spend the remaining days of his misanthropic life behind bars, presumably with Secret Service agents.
In its final public hearing before it published its final report, the January 6 committee made a number of criminal referrals against Trump and those who worked with him to try and illegally keep him in the White House. The committee recommended the DOJ charge Trump with inciting an insurrection, conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to cause others to make false statements, and obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress.
Raskin himself read the charges that the committee recommended be pursued against Trump during the hearing, which took place on Monday last week. “We have gone where the facts and the law lead us, and inescapably, they lead us here,” Raskin said during the meeting.
Notably, the DOJ is also conducting a separate investigation into the attack on the Capitol on January 6, an inquiry that also includes looking into every effort by Trump to overturn the presidential election. The DOJ’s investigation, which has been handed to special counsel Jack Smith, could look at the committee’s evidence and decide to pursue charges even without considering the formal recommendation.
To many outside legal experts looking in on the inquiry, it appears all but certain that Smith will pursue charges against Trump.
Noting that Smith has recruited a number of other seasoned prosecutors to join him in the investigation, Preet Bharara, himself a former federal prosecutor, said he believes these and other moves are signals that charges are imminent.
“I don’t think they would’ve left their former positions, both in government and private practice, unless there was a serious possibility that the Justice Department was on a path to charge,” Bharara said earlier this month.