Donald Trump’s extremely long list of legal problems got significantly worse on Monday, when the January 6 committee capped off its year-and-a-half-long investigation into the attempt to overturn the 2020 election results, and the violent riot that ensued, by recommending the Justice Department charge him with four major crimes. While the recommendation is not binding, and the DOJ could choose to ignore it, it is nevertheless a shocking indictment of a former president of the United States, who hopes to hold that position again come January 20, 2025. Probably making the whole thing sting even more? That one of his most loyal aides, and a person he would undoubtedly rank above several of his children, helped twist the knife.
Continuing the tradition of airing taped testimony of various high-ranking individuals within Trumpworld, the committee used its final public hearing to show footage of a deposition with Hope Hicks, a former longtime senior counselor to the ex-president whom Trump has affectionately referred to as “Hopey” and “Hopester.” According to Hicks, who left the Trump administration in 2018 and returned in early 2020 to help get him reelected, in the days prior to the January 6 insurrection, she pressed for him to tell his followers that anyone coming to Washington to protest the election should not engage in violence—but the recommendation was refused. “It was my view that it was important that the president put out some kind of message in advance of the event,” she said, adding that another senior adviser, Eric Herschmann, made the same request but was also rebuffed.
In other words, the then president was warned—well in advance—that violence could unfold on the day the election was to be certified in Congress, and he did nothing to stop it.
In addition to recommending Trump be charged with inciting an insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement, and obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, the committee also recommended an ethics inquiry into the actions of four top House Republicans: Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs.
While it’s not clear if the DOJ—which is conducting its own investigation into Trump—will act on the panel’s referrals, committee chairman Bennie Thompson said Monday, “I’m convinced the Justice Department will charge former President Trump. No one, including a former president, is above the law.”
Jared Kushner catches some football with his pals