Friday, January 21

If the Trump investigators do not finish on time, all the work may be in vain

The committee investigating Donald Trump’s role in the January 6 riots is having a hard time. If they are not completed during the year, all the work can end up in a drawer.

“If you do not fight like hell, you will not have a country anymore,” Donald Trump said. His followers took him literally.

It was not a Christmas break for investigators working to uncover what really happened on January 6 last year and what role then-President Donald Trump played when his supporters stormed Congress.

– The time window we have to get the job done requires that we work on weekends and holidays, says congressional representative Bennie Thompson to The New York Times.

As the chairman of the congressional committee responsible for uncovering what happened, he knows he’s having a bad time. There will be congressional elections this autumn, and there are many indications that the Democrats will lose the majority in the House of Representatives. Then the committee will probably be wound up.

The mob shouted slogans for Trump as they stormed the police roadblocks.

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The congressional committee will have a criminal case against Trump’s former chief of staff

Takes out time

In recent US history, the issue of access to presidential documents has been raised several times. Before President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974, there were many rounds in the Supreme Court. In the end, he had to give up the documentation that showed that he hindered the investigation of the Watergate scandal.

Now Trump is fighting to avoid handing out around 800 pages about what he did and who he had contact with on January 6.

All rounds in the judiciary take a lot of time. This increases the risk that the work will not be completed while the Democrats have a majority.

Close associates of Trump have refused to be questioned. Both Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are threatened with punishment.

Lies and deception

The committee investigates broadly, but concentrates on two areas in particular.

  • They are trying to find out if there is any basis for saying that Trump and his allies tried to prevent Congress from approving the election result. Committee chair Thompson says The Washington Post that they will also find out why it took Trump so long to ask his supporters to calm down. Thompson believes it could be a criminal misconduct.
  • Investigators are also following a “money trail”. Trump supporters raised millions of dollars in the fight to “stop the theft” of the election. If it can be proved that they knew that the allegation of the stolen election result was a lie, they can be prosecuted for fraud.
Liz Cheney was one of Trump’s most loyal supporters. The experiences of January 6 last year made her a sharp critic of the former president. Here she is talking to one of the policemen who testified before the committee.

Tight birth

The dust had barely settled after the congressional buildings were stormed, before the parties began arguing about how the riots should be investigated.

In the Senate, Trump’s party colleagues blocked an investigation. In the House of Representatives, two Republicans voted to set up a committee of inquiry. As a thank you, Liz Cheney became deputy chair.

Republicans claim that the investigation is a continuation of the witch hunt Trump was subjected to as president.

In prime time

So far, the work has mainly taken place behind closed doors.

Committee chair Thompson says CNN that the testimonies behind closed doors have provided good insight into what Trump did and did not do on January 6.

During the late winter or spring, the committee leader hopes to invite the TV cameras. For Democrats, such a hearing can serve as an effective gaping hole, with Trump supporters peppered with questions they do not want answered.

Lawsuits and criminal cases

While politicians try to map the political responsibilities, the police are working to prosecute those who stormed the congress buildings. It is said to be the largest police investigation in the United States. So far, more than 700 arrests have been made. Around 40 are charged with having prepared the attack. 176 must answer for accusations of violence.

At the same time, Trump must answer for his role in the riots. On Tuesday this week, three police officers sued the former president. They believe that the president called for violence and unrest. The plaintiffs allege that they suffered permanent damage while trying to protect Congress.

Trump has previously received six similar lawsuits. None of them have so far come far in the judiciary.

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