Several members of the Jan. 6 Select Committee on Sunday argued that there is enough evidence for Attorney General Merrick Garland to open a criminal investigation into former President Trump after the panel’s public hearings detailed its case that the deadly Capitol insurrection was the result of a multi-step, concerted effort by Trump and his allies to subvert the 2020 election results.
Committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) told CNN that although the panel hasn’t decided whether to make criminal referrals against Trump, the panel is considering it.
Cheney said the committee has seen “very serious misconduct and certainly supreme dereliction of duty” by Trump, pointing to the panel’s public hearings that laid out Trump’s corrupt actions amid his refusal to concede the election.
“But you look at what we have laid out in these hearings in terms of the President’s efforts to corrupt the Department of Justice, to corruptly pressure state and local officials, certainly what he did in terms of attempting to pressure the vice president to violate the law and the Constitution,” Cheney said.
Cheney noted the committee’s public hearing last week that featured witness testimony about Trump’s refusal to issue a public statement demanding his supporters leave the Capitol on Jan. 6, despite how people in his inner circle demanded him to do so.
Some hand-wringers say that prosecuting Trump and his enablers will tear the country apart. Aside from the fact that it already is, I’m of the mind that not prosecuting them will make it worse. We are supposed to be a country where the rule of law is our foundation; not some dynastic tradition of monarchy but on a Constitution. Trump and his minions not only violated that compact by thought, word and deed, they had every intention of throwing it out. They need to be held accountable for that.
So if bringing them to justice is a bad idea, what are we doing here?