by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 19, 2022) — Just before 6:00 p.m. EST Monday, 45th President and 2024 presidential candidate Donald J. Trump posted three comments on his TruthSocial timeline in response to the issuance of four criminal referrals earlier in the day by the “Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack at the United States Capitol” at its “business meeting.”
During the counting of the electoral votes on January 6, 2021, hundreds of individuals entered the U.S. Capitol, with some simply walking through the building, while others defaced property and entered the offices of members of Congress, who quickly abandoned the chamber where Vice President Mike Pence was opening the envelopes containing each state’s the electoral votes.
Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed at point-blank range by a U.S. Capitol Police officer, and Roseanne Boyland died outside the Capitol allegedly by drug overdose, an account which has been contested.
A running list of January 6 defendants and disposition of their cases can be found at Look Ahead America.
During the electoral vote count, objections were lodged by more than 100 members of the House regarding Arizona and Pennsylvania, seconded by a total of eight senators, a statutory requirement for an electoral objection to be heard. The incursion interrupted the session, which resumed later that evening and resulted in Biden being declared the winner.
“The Fake charges made by the highly partisan Unselect Committee of January 6th have already been submitted, prosecuted, and tried in the form of Impeachment Hoax # 2. I WON convincingly,” Trump wrote on Monday after the referrals were announced. “Double jeopardy anyone!” [sic]
Chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the committee comprises seven Democrats and two Republicans, all of whom voted unanimously to issue the referrals to the Justice Department. The two Republicans are leaving Congress on January 3; as Trump remarked in a separate comment Monday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) lost her primary, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) chose not to seek re-election.
In a statement, Thompson claimed Trump engaged in “a violent attempt to block the transfer of power” on January 6, 2021, when hundreds of people entered the U.S. Capitol during the counting of the electoral votes from the November 3, 2020 election, which Trump claims he won but for considerable fraud on a number of fronts, including more recently the “Twitter Files” revelations that the FBI and other government agencies were attempting to control speech and information on the platform in the months leading up to the election.
“This marks the first time in history that a congressional committee has recommended that DOJ launch a criminal investigation into a former American president,” NBC reported, although the Justice Department has already launched a dual investigation, now led by former DOJ prosecutor Jack Smith, into the January 6 incident and Trump’s maintaining of documents created during his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago resort, which was met with an unprecedented FBI raid on August 8 of this year.
“The criminal referrals do not carry any legal weight but represent a symbolic rebuke of Trump, who remains the most influential Republican in the country and has launched another bid for president in 2024,” NBC’s report continues.
Over the weekend, Trump had forecast the referrals with, “They say that the Unselect Committee of Democrats, Misfits, and Thugs, without any representation from Republicans in good standing, is getting ready to recommend Criminal Charges to the highly partisan, political, and Corrupt ‘Justice’ Department for the ‘PEACEFULLY & PATRIOTICLY’ speech I made on January 6th. This speech and my actions were mild & loving, especially when compared to Democrats wild spewing of HATE. Why didn’t they investigate massive Election Fraud or send in the Troops? SCAM!”
Whether or not the Justice Department chooses to prosecute remains to be seen, although according to Trump, Smith found no substance to the two allegations he was assigned to probe and has moved on to issuing subpoenas to parties Trump and/or his campaign legal team contacted in the aftermath of the election.
The referrals issued Monday encompass four criminal statutes the committee claims Trump and one of his attorneys, John Eastman, violated as a result of their “efforts to overturn the 2020 election.”
In addition to Trump and Eastman, the committee recommended ethics investigations for Reps. Andy Biggs (AZ), Scott Perry (PA), Jim Jordan (OH), and Kevin McCarthy, who did not respond to the committee’s subpoenas.
McCarthy hopes to become the next Speaker of the House when Republicans take the majority on January 3.
When outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi convened the committee, McCarthy chose Jordan as one of the Republicans to serve, but Pelosi rejected Jordan as well as Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).
“The panel, mindful of the drama of the moment, left the approval of the referrals to the final minutes of its hearing,” The Hill reported Monday.
In his defense, Trump has pointed to the fact that he called for supporters to “go home now; we have to have peace” in a video posted on Twitter that day, which Trump affirmed Twitter removed prior to the arbitrary shuttering of his account on January 8, 2021.
The video does not appear on Trump’s restored Twitter timeline. However, on January 6, he tweeted, “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
Approximately an hour after his initial three tweets Monday afternoon, Trump remarked, “Think of it! The Radical Left Democrats (Communists), SPIED on my campaign, lied to the FISA COURT, lied to CONGRESS, allowed an INVASION of our COUNTRY on the Southern Border, EMBARRASSED us in Afghanistan, gave away our Energy Independence, killed us on job losing Regulations, wouldn’t use the 10,000 plus soldiers I recommended for Jan 6th, refused to look into Election Fraud-the reason for Jan 6th, Rigged & Stole the 2020 Election, allowed Ballot Stuffing, FBI/Facebook/Twitter & Biden CRIME!”