Washington Post: DOJ 'should conduct a criminal investigation' into Donald Trump
The Washington Post Editorial Board on Saturday strongly urged the United States Department of Justice to use every tool in its arsenal to indict all of the individuals involved with the January 6th, 2021 insurrection, including former President Donald Trump.
In its short essay, the Board argued that ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's explosive testimony before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol last week contained revelations that warrant launching criminal probes into Trump and his associates.
Hutcinsons' sworn statements raised "questions about precisely what Mr. Trump and his senior staff knew about what would unfold" on the 6th, the Board wrote.
Among the most salacious allegations were that Trump and then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows – Hutchinson's boss – were aware that the mob was armed and that violence was likely to occur, that Trump intended to lead the march to the Capitol to disrupt the congressional certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, and that efforts were undertaken to intimidate Committee witnesses.
"The public needs more information," the Board opined. "That requires the Committee to hear from more witnesses, which in turn requires the Justice Department to prosecute those, such as Mr. Meadows, who have defied Committee subpoenas. It also means the department should examine seriously concerns that Trump allies are trying to influence" witnesses whom the Committee believes can provide further details about what went down inside of Trump World.
Based on what Hutchinson told the bipartisan January 6th commission, the Justice Department "should conduct a criminal investigation" into Trump, the Board stressed.
"Attorney General Merrick Garland appears to be treating this prospect with a high degree of care, and appropriately so. A new administration prosecuting a former president of the opposite party would set a perilous precedent; one need only look at the long record of failed democracies abroad, in which new leaders tried those they deposed, to see the danger," the editors said. They conceded, however, that criminally pursuing Trump comes with considerable political risks.
If the Committee continues to amass evidence that points to Trump's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, "the department might have little choice" but to charge Trump," noted the Board. "Central to our system of justice is the principle that no one is above the law."
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