After the House select committee investigating the attack decided earlier this month to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ), former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner speculated that former President Donald Trump may face 25 years in prison for committing offenses related to last year’s Capitol riot.
On Friday’s episode of MSNBC’s The ReidOut, Kirschner was asked if referrals are valuable, and she answered that they are.
“The Department of Justice prides itself on exercising independent prosecutorial discretion but they can’t turn a blind eye to a coequal branch of government that has done such an exhaustive investigation when they pass all of that evidence over to [the] DOJ and they recommend criminal investigations and prosecutions,” he said.
A report detailing potential criminal charges against Trump is set to be reviewed by the select committee on Monday, according to two people familiar with the subject who spoke with Politico.
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A criminal referrals assessment committee made some of the suggestions. Politico reports that the former president is being investigated for possible involvement in an uprising, obstruction of official action and conspiracy to defraud the United States government.
Obstruction of judicial or governmental proceedings is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, so it’s fantastic that they’re bringing it up. On Friday, Kirschner remarked that the discussion of conspiracy to commit acts against the United States was welcome news.
.@glennkirschner2 on DOJ & Jan. 6 committee: “They can’t turn a blind eye to a coequal branch of government that has done such an exhaustive investigation when they pass all that evidence over to DOJ and they recommend criminal investigations & prosecutions.” #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/WmwQPVMmjR
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) December 17, 2022
Who will be referred and for what crimes were not specified by the select committee? Meanwhile, the panel’s prior inability to reach a consensus on whether to pursue criminal charges against Trump was due to internal disagreements over the matter.
While the Department of Justice is technically independent, “such a referral is more than symbolic,” Ion Meyn, an assistant law professor at the University of Wisconsin, told Newsweek earlier this month. Referral from a congressional committee that has undertaken its own inquiry has more weight than most other types of recommendations. There would be substantial pressure on the DOJ to pursue prosecution as a result of the recommendation and the DOJ would have to provide an explanation for rejecting the referral if it did so.
Kirschner argued that prosecuting Trump for insurrection was critical, despite the fact that the president faces jail time if found guilty of the alleged charges relating to the Capitol violence.
The most serious allegation is insurrection since, unlike the others, a conviction for it would result in a lifetime ban from public office in the United States. He then added, “That’s the one I’m actually rooting for.”
After Donald Trump claimed he lost the 2020 election owing to widespread voter fraud, his followers stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the results. The select committee is looking into whether Trump interfered with Joe Biden’s victory being certified on that fateful day.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, meantime, hasn’t pursued any legal action against Trump. While the FBI did discover highly sensitive materials from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August, the Department of Justice is already investigating whether or not the documents were mishandled. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Trump continues to insist that he did nothing illegal and that he declassified the records before removing them from the White House.
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The former president vented his frustrations with the FBI, DOJ and Democrats on Saturday morning via Truth Social, calling them the “disease” that is killing America.
“Our Country is SICK inside, very much like a person dying of Cancer. The Crooked FBI, the so-called Department of “Justice,” and “Intelligence,” all parts of the Democrat Party and System, is the Cancer. These Weaponized Thugs and Tyrants must be dealt with, or our once great and beautiful Country will die!!!” he wrote.
The former president said in another post on Saturday: “THEY ARE GOING AFTER ME BECAUSE THEY ARE REALLY GOING AFTER YOU!”
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