As the new year begins to unfold, people who watch political happenings are asking some important questions. Will Democrats be able to hold onto the majority? What will happen if Republicans take control? Most importantly, will Donald Trump ever be punished for his crimes against this country? It depends on who you talk to about the last one, which is likely the one question to which many would like the answer.
According to Newsweek, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner believes Kevin McCarthy is not helping Trump. Immediately in the aftermath of the insurrection, McCarthy took to the House floor to proclaim that Trump “bears responsibility” for the insurrection. Then, famously back-peddling, McCarthy claimed that Trump “didn’t see” the riot, and that once he was made aware, he “immediately” acted. Interestingly, he did not mention how long it took Trump to take steps necessary to put out a statement or how many takes of the video were made. Kirschner pointed out that it took “more than three hours,” and Kirschner believes that a criminal case “MUST ultimately be brought against Trump for the insurrection.”
New York Times reported in December that the House Select Committee was looking at evidence through which Trump could be referred to the DOJ for criminal charges. One avenue is wire fraud, borne out of money raised to perpetrate the big lie and its aftermath, and criminal obstruction charges for trying to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election. It is interesting that what the committee was able to get from Mark Meadows has led them in the direction of possible criminal charges against Trump. Liz Cheney read the criminal code into the record, suggesting that Trump may have violated federal law relating to obstructing an official proceeding before Congress by failing to stop the riot, obstructing Congress from doing its job of certifying the election, an official duty of the Congress of the United States. As NYT reported, whatever the committee provides might well lead to a criminal referral that even Trump’s staunchest allies cannot contest. Indeed, many of them were part and parcel of that obstruction and could find themselves in a similar position. Any ultimate criminal charges will, of course, depend on Attorney General Merrick Garland.
In his speech on the anniversary of the insurrection, Garland “urged patience” Newsweek reported, but many have grown weary with being patient. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), said on CNN: “I think Merrick Garland has been extremely weak, and I think there should be a lot more of the organizers of January 6 that should be arrested by now.” It is always difficult to get the “top dog(s)” in any criminal investigation, and the DOJ is going about it the right way. The weaker links can sometimes give up the higher ups. One is doing that by calling for subpoenas against Trump and his allies. An Economist/YouGov poll conducted from January 2 to 4 shows that 41% of Americans would like to see Trump prosecuted. The larger that number can get, the better. Perhaps “patience” is the way to go.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years