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Legal Experts Say Trump Could Face Charges For Attempting to Obstruct Election Certification

Legal Experts Say Trump Could Face Charges For Attempting to Obstruct Election Certification

Speculation is growing that Donald Trump might face charges for trying to obstruct Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election this year as a House panel collects more evidence into the January 6th attack on the Capitol, former prosecutors and other experts say.

Expectations regarding possible charges against Trump have been heightened recently thanks to a not-entirely-rhetorical bombshell from January 6th Select Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney suggesting the House panel is looking at whether Trump broke a law that bars obstruction of “official proceedings”.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: President Donald Trump speaks at the “Stop The Steal” Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation’s capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former prosecutors say if the panel finds new evidence about Trump’s role interfering with Congress’ job to certify President Biden’s election, that could help strengthen a potential case by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Rep. Cheney’s comments have been echoed by two other members of the House select committee, Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Democrat Jamie Raskin of Maryland. Each has been generating more talk of how an obstruction statute could apply to Trump, which would entail the panel making a criminal referral of evidence for the justice department to investigate, say DOJ veterans. Although a House panel referral of obstruction by Trump would not force DOJ to open a criminal case against him, it could help provide more evidence for one, and build pressure on the justice department to move forward, say former prosecutors.

Trump is also feverishly trying to block the panel from obtaining White House records related to January 6th from the National Archives, and his appeal to the Supreme Court is his last chance.

 

Attorney General Merrick Garland has declined to say so far whether his department may be investigating Trump and his top allies already for their roles in the Capitol assault.

 

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