Main menu


Many Senate Republicans are not protecting Trump after Jan. 1. 6 panel no to criminal charges

featured image

Senate Republicans step out of the way of the House on Jan. 1. 6 committee recommendation that the Department of Justice prosecute former President Trump for crimes related to the 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

GOP senators, especially those allied with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Say Jan. 1. Committee No. 6 interviewed “credible” witnesses and added to the historical record in substantial ways, even if they have qualms about how Democrats tried to use the panel’s findings to score political points.

Now they say it’s up to Attorney General Merrick Garland or Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith to investigate or indict Trump, but they’re not stopping federal prosecutors from prosecuting the former president. .

“The entire nation knows who is responsible for this day,” McConnell said in a statement, pointing the finger squarely at Trump in response to the Jan. 1 House of Representatives. The 6 committee referred four criminal charges against Trump to the Justice Department.

It was McConnell’s strongest statement accusing Trump of inciting a mob to storm the Capitol on Jan. 1. 6, 2021, since denouncing him on the floor of the Senate in February of the same year.

“The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said in February 2021 after voting on technical grounds to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.) said, “It’s up to the court now.”

When asked if he thought the committee conducted a credible investigation of Trump, Thune replied, “They interviewed credible witnesses.”

Thune said the panel’s line-up was partisan because it included seven Democrats and only two anti-Trump Republicans, but he acknowledged, “They interviewed a lot of people who had a lot of knowledge about what happened and that were people who I think were very believable.

Retired Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a member of McConnell’s leadership team, said Jan. 1. The final report of Committee 6, which will be made public on Wednesday, is “important”.

“I think the referrals are not as important as the report. The report is important, even if it is the result of a partisan process,” he said.

“But testimony is testimony, and they were able to get testimony from most people they wanted – not everyone but most – and I think most of the significant numbers. That’s the all-time record,” Portman explained. “Its very important.”

The Jan. 6 panel on Monday made four criminal referrals alleging Trump insurrection, obstructing official congressional process, conspiring to defraud the United States and conspiring to make a false statement.

The removals do not require the Justice Department to bring criminal charges against the former president, but they do put more pressure on federal prosecutors to act.

The panel also recommended that the House Ethics Committee investigate House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and several allies — the Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) — and what they did before and on the day of the attack on the Capitol.

House Republicans are expected to dismantle the Jan. 6 panel after taking over the chamber in January.

Trump ignored the criminal referrals in a statement posted on Truth Social, his social media platform.

“These people don’t understand that when they come after me, people who love freedom gather around me. It strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” he posted.

Trump has announced a new bid for the White House, but it has been clear for weeks amid a series of controversies surrounding Trump and a disappointing midterm election result for the GOP that a number of senators Republicans would prefer to leave the former president.

Only one Republican senator, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (Alabama), publicly endorsed Trump’s 2024 presidential candidacy.

Others have expressed concerns about Trump’s viability in the 2024 general election or blamed him for derailing their chances of winning key Senate races in Pennsylvania and Georgia this year.

Republican senators speaking to the media on Monday did not fully embrace January’s decision. 6 panel, by all means, but most didn’t embrace Trump.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), another member of the Senate Republican leadership team, said she believes Jan. 1. 6 committee investigation “was a political process” and that she had “never seen” Congress recommend the Justice Department prosecute anyone before.

But she added that Trump “bears some responsibility” for the attack on the US Capitol.

“I don’t see that changing anything. Let us pass the law on the electoral count. It will dispel some of the ambiguity that arose that day,” she said, referring to legislation the Senate will pass this week to clarify that the vice president has a ministerial-only role when Congress meets in joint session to certify the results of a presidential election.

The bill aims to eliminate the possibility of a future president trying to get the vice president to reject voter lists when presiding over a joint session of Congress, as Trump lobbied the vice president to the time, Mike Pence, on January 29. 6.

McConnell, Thune, Portman and Capito all voted to acquit Trump after his second impeachment trial when he was charged with inciting insurrection.

However, many Senate Republicans voted this way for technical reasons, since Trump at the time of the trial was no longer in office.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who voted to convict Trump in his two impeachment trials, said, “There is no question that President Trump deserves to be guilty of inciting the riot on the 1st January. 6 and for failing to act to protect the Vice President and the United States Capitol.

“Whether there are criminal charges associated with this should be determined by experienced prosecutors, and that’s what the Justice Department will determine,” he said.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who also voted to impeach Trump, said he would leave it up to federal prosecutors to decide what to do.

“I am not a lawyer and certainly not a prosecutor,” he said, adding that he was not surprised at the recommendation to prosecute.

“I don’t know the legal basis for that, but you know what I think of what the president did that day,” he said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, said she was not surprised by the criminal referral by the House committee.

Obviously, they spent a lot of time and [went into] in great detail for many months they investigated it,” she said. It’s really to [the Department of Justice] where they go next.

“I think it will be important for us to read this report which will come out on Wednesday,” she said.

Asked about McConnell’s statement that the whole nation knows Trump was responsible for the January bombing. 6, Murkowski replied, “I agree. I voted to impeach him.