Five takeaways from congressional report calling for Trump charges

The committee suggested that former US president Donald Trump could also face seditious conspiracy charges

Much of the detail on Donald Trump’s alleged misconduct aired Monday by the panel probing the 2021 US Capitol insurrection had already been made public.

But a summary of the upcoming report on the congressional committee’s findings was full of tidbits that had not come out before. 

Here are five takeaways from the 154-page document.

– Trump was the ‘central’ cause of the violence –

“(The) evidence has led to an overriding and straightforward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former president Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the summary reads.

“None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”

– Laws Trump and others allegedly broke –

The document explicitly sets out the multiple criminal statutes it says Trump violated his bid to cling to power — justifying its referrals for insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and obstructing an official proceeding.

None of Trump’s aides was referred to the Justice Department under specific statutes but the summary suggests there could be sufficient evidence to charge Trump lawyer John Eastman and “others.”

The summary details 17 findings undergirding its reasoning for criminal referrals, alleging that Trump knew the fraud allegations he was pushing were false and that his decision to declare victory falsely “was premeditated.”

– Seditious conspiracy? –

The summary raises the possibility of additional “seditious conspiracy” charges against Trump similar to those leveled against members of the Oath Keepers militia over the insurrection.

“The Department of Justice, through its investigative tools that exceed those of this committee, may have evidence sufficient to prosecute President Trump under Sections 372 and 2384.” it reads.

“Accordingly, we believe sufficient evidence exists for a criminal referral of President Trump under these two statutes.”

Committee member Jamie Raskin said after the hearing any potential further charges, beyond the four it has recommended, would be “a judgment that the Department of Justice will have to make.”

– Ivanka Trump not ‘forthcoming’ –

The summary makes clear that several figures close to Trump were evasive or made claims of memory lapses that were not credible during testimony.

It specifically names the former president’s daughter and former advisor Ivanka Trump, saying she appeared to know more than she was acknowledging during questioning.

“Ivanka Trump was not as forthcoming as… others about President Trump’s conduct,” the document says, noting her “lack of full recollection of certain issues.”

The panel also notes that former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany “seemed evasive, as if she was testifying from pre-prepared talking points.” 

“In multiple instances, McEnany’s testimony did not seem nearly as forthright as that of her press office staff, who testified about what McEnany said,” the summary states.

– Non-criminal referrals –

The summary says several Republican lawmakers are being referred to the House Ethics Committee for refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

They include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is vying to be House Speaker in the next Congress, the third most powerful political position in Washington, and three hardline right-wingers. All four defied subpoenas to give evidence.

“If left unpunished, such behavior undermines Congress’s longstanding power to investigate in support of its lawmaking authority and suggests that members of Congress may disregard legal obligations that apply to ordinary citizens,” the text says.

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