Report details ‘complex path’ to prosecute Trump over Jan. 6

The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch just published a report detailing the “complex path” that will have to be traveled by those looking to prosecute former President Donald Trump for the Capitol protests of Jan. 6, 2021. 

This comes after the recent actions of the partisan House Jan. 6 committee.

Background

The committee, in its final meeting of the year, voted to criminally refer Trump to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The referral, according to Fox News, included charges for “obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the federal government, making a false statement, and inciting, assisting, or aiding and comforting an insurrection.”

In addition to this, the committee released an 814-page report detailing the findings of its so-called investigation.

The report states, “the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”

Just in case all of this fails, members of the committee are also trying to gain support for their argument that Trump’s actions are sufficient to allow Congress to use the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to bar him from ever again holding office.

The “complex path”

Beitsch, in her report, notes that “the path ahead will be determined by Special Counsel Jack Smith.”

Smith, who has deep ties to powerful Democrats, has been appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee multiple DOJ investigations against Trump, including a Jan. 6-related investigation. The political nature of this hiring is suggested by the fact that it occurred just after Trump announced his 2024 presidential bid.

Beitsch notes that the DOJ, here, has “power and limitations” that the House Jan. 6 committee did not. The powers include such things as search warrants, but the major limitation is that – unlike the partisan House committee – the DOJ needs to follow the rules of the U.S. justice system.

Beitsch goes on to point out that this means that the DOJ has to prove the elements of each crime that they want to charge Trump with, and Beitsch admits that this likely won’t be easy – and that’s because, as many legal experts have already pointed out, the proposition that Trump has committed a crime in relation to Jan. 6 is highly questionable.

That’s the good news for Trump.

The bad news:

Beitsch writes that the House Jan. 6 committee’s report “leaves a trail of breadcrumbs” that can be pursued by those who wish to pursue them.

In other words, the Democrats’ Jan. 6 narrative likely isn’t coming to an end any time soon.