Thursday, September 29, 2022

Liz Cheney: If justified, the Department of Justice should not hesitate to prosecute Trump over U.S. Capitol riots

One of the key lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol last year says that if the Department of Justice concludes that former President Donald Trump has fueled the chaos to stop Congress from losing its 2020 re-election loss to certify – it should not hesitate to prosecute him.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the deputy chair of the panel investigating the uprising and a vocal anti-Trump Republican, told ABC News that the prosecution of a former US president would be unprecedented and “difficult” for an already politically divided country .

But the Wyoming Republican said not prosecuting Trump, if justified, would be a “much worse constitutional threat” to the United States. Trump, a Republican, lost to Democrat Joe Biden, but claims to this day that irregularities in the counting of votes cost him a second term of four years in the White House.

In an interview last Wednesday that aired on the “This Week” program on Sunday, Cheney said that “if a president can get involved in these kinds of activities, and the majority of the president’s party looks away; or we as a country decides we are not actually going to take our constitutional obligations seriously, I think that is a much, much more serious threat “than prosecuting him.

“I really believe we need to make these decisions, as difficult as they are, apart from politics. We really need to think about this from the perspective of: What does this mean for the country?” she said.

“There is no doubt that he was involved in high crimes and misdeeds. I think there is no doubt that this is the most serious betrayal of his oath of office by any president in the history of the country. This is the most dangerous behavior of any president. in the history of the nation, ”she said.

Vice President Liz Cheney delivers her inaugural address as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, June 9, 2022 .

Vice President Liz Cheney delivers her inaugural address as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, June 9, 2022 .

Asked if the committee could make a reference to the Department of Justice for prosecution of Trump and others, Cheney said, “Yes,” adding that the Department of Justice “does not have to wait” for the panel to to act. She said the committee could issue “more than one criminal reference”, including for possible witness tampering by former Trump assistants trying to persuade witnesses to remain loyal to Trump as he weighs a campaign for the presidency in the 2024 election to try to reclaim.

The Justice Department is in the midst of an ongoing, comprehensive investigation into the riot, but has not said it specifically targets Trump.

Cheney gave her thoughts a day after she led two hours of questioning of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top assistant to Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, on Tuesday.

Hutchinson, 25, gave an explosive behind-the-scenes report of Meadows and Trump’s actions before and during January 6, 2021, which stormed the Capitol by about 2,000 Trump supporters.

She told lawmakers how Trump became angrier and more erratic as the reality of his election loss ensued and he realized that despite his private and public pleas, former Vice President Mike Pence would not agree to change the election result and send the results in multiple keys. states Trump just lost back to their state legislatures so they would name voters who support Trump to replace those legally elected to vote for Biden in the Electoral College.

She testified that Trump was told before a rally near the White House before the riot at the Capitol unfolded that some of his supporters were armed and equipped with body weapons and yet encouraged them to “fight like hell” to win the election. alter.

FILE - Supporters of US President Donald Trump riot in front of the US capital in Washington, January 6, 2021.

FILE – Supporters of US President Donald Trump riot in front of the US capital in Washington, January 6, 2021.

She said an Meadows assistant told her that Trump was angry that his secret service security detail would not drive him to the Capitol where his supporters were gathering before storming into the Capitol. Hutchinson, in one moment disputed by the Secret Service, said Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of a security agent and demanded that he be driven to the Capitol.

While some of the rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” – she said Meadows told her that Trump approved the sentiment, saying she deserves number 2 in order to be hanged. Some unknown Trump supporters erected a gallows on the National Mall within sight of the Capitol.

Trump worked to disregard Hutchinson’s testimony and posted on social media that “I hardly know who this person … is, except that I have heard many negative things about her.”

“She’s bad news!” he added.

In the ABC interview, Cheney said she was “absolutely confident” about Hutchinson’s testimony and said, “She is an incredibly brave young woman.” In the United States, presidents are effectively elected in separate elections in each of the 50 states, not by the nationally popular vote. Each state’s number of electoral votes depends on its population, with the largest states having the most control. The rioters who stormed the Capitol tried to stop lawmakers from certifying Biden’s eventual 306-232 victory in the Electoral College.

At the heart of Trump’s attempt to stay in power was a daring plan put forward by a key Trump lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Conservative lawyer John Eastman, to legislate in to get states that Trump has now lost to appoint new voters who support him to replace the official who benefits Biden.

FILE - Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by US Capitol police officers outside the Senate chamber inside the Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021.

FILE – Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by US Capitol police officers outside the Senate chamber inside the Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021.

While the House committee cannot file criminal charges, the Department of Justice is closely monitoring the hearings to determine whether anyone, including Trump, should be charged with illegally trying to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

No US president has ever been charged with a criminal offense after leaving office.

Trump often mocked the nine-member House of Representatives panel investigating the riot at the Capitol and attacked his witnesses who painted a highly unfavorable version of his post-election pressure campaign to stay in office against repeated findings of his own key assistants, including former attorney general William Barr, that there was no evidence of fraud enough to overturn the election result.

The investigative panel consists of seven Democrats, Cheney and another vocal Republican critic of Trump, Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

Cheney said: “I think you will continue to see additional details about the president’s activities and behavior in the coming days and weeks” on January 6 last year.

In one of the hearings scheduled for later this month, the committee is investigating how Trump watched the riot on television for more than three hours while rejecting pleas from aid workers and his eldest daughter, Ivanka, a White House adviser to him. to publicly urge rioters to leave the Capitol.

More than 800 of them have been arrested and more than 300 have pleaded guilty to a variety of criminal charges or have been convicted at trials and jail terms ranging from a few weeks to more than four years.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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