Will Merrick Garland prosecute Trump on Jan. 6, 2021? That's what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who lead the riot committee, want.
Despite all the exciting evidence and misdirection during the hearings, Las Vegas would bet against such a dramatic outcome.
Former White House worker Cassidy Hutchinson was the select committee's star witness in recent weeks. She related a dramatic story about President Trump gripping the handle of the Secret Service vehicle he was travelling in after being informed he couldn't drive to the Capitol.
No cross-examination was permitted for Hutchinson's secondhand account. According to reports, Secret Service officials rejected the account and were eager to testify.
Then we heard that key witness Hutchinson, despite saying Trump participated in terrible behavior, told powerful pals she adored the former president and regretted being rejected by the Trump team in Florida.
All of this shows how reckless, desperate, and vindictive Pelosi and Cheney have been.
They used below-the-belt techniques to put the 45th president in a jumpsuit often. Cheney tried to make Trump a prosecution target by claiming he was guilty of "seditious conspiracy" for talking with the violent Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.
She said Trump, the Oath Keepers, and the Proud Boys wanted to topple the country. The Wall Street Journal, a skeptic of Trump's stolen election theme, said the "seditious conspiracy" claim was unconvincing and Cheney "offered no evidence" that Trump engaged with either group.
The Justice Department might not ever charge the former president, but not because of Pelosi/lies. Cheney's Even legal experts who dislike Trump think his Jan. 6 actions were legitimate.
The Washington Post, one of Trump's fiercest opponents, published a remarkable investigative story in January citing prosecutors, defense lawyers, law experts, and judges on whether the former president may be criminally prosecuted on Jan. 6, 2021—or in the days preceding up to that date.
The Justice Department might well have trouble getting an indictment and a conviction. The anti-Trump publication hasn't reversed course.
Legal experts told reporters that most of what Trump's detractors have accused him of is covered under the First Amendment.
He's hardly the first leader to "call on his supporters to fight," but that's not a demand to break into the Capitol and threaten lawmakers.
Trump encouraged the throng to proceed to the Capitol, but "there's no evidence" he anticipated they'd storm it, the Post said. "No evidence"
Current hearings don't contradict this finding. The hearings show that Trump has a strong temper and utilizes bullying techniques, even towards his own vice president. This isn't a flattering trait, but the legal community hasn't deemed it illegal.
The Post questioned if Trump would be punished for asking that Georgia's secretary of state get enough votes to beat Joe Biden.
Trump told Raffensperger, "I just want 11,780 votes" If he'd stated it, he may have faced federal charges. His detractors usually overlook this mitigating comment: "Because we won the state."
Why are these terms crucial? If the president believes the election was stolen, it would be impossible to prosecute him with a crime, legal experts told the Post.
(A grand jury is investigating whether Trump and his aides broke state law by calling Raffensperger and putting up another slate of electors for Biden.)
Greg Jacob, vice president Mike Pence's former attorney, said lawyer John Eastman was important to Trump's mindset and why he felt he could reverse the election. Pence was convinced by history that the vice president had no jurisdiction to oppose Biden's Oval Office appointment.
Trump stated Pence has the authority but didn't use it. Trump complimented Eastman during his Jan. 6 rally before the violence.
Jacob claimed Eastman barged into a Jan. 5 gathering of the vice president's advisors "trying to persuade us of his theory." Jacob and others weren't convinced.
Former federal prosecutor Randall Ellison told the Post that showing corrupt intent is vital to his offenses.
Ellison hinted there was no corrupt intent if Trump could claim his team of lawyers concurred the election was fraudulent and Pence could make him the winner.
None Chaser Jacob revealed that Trump consulted Eastman. Eastman wasn't the only one who say he persuaded Trump to urge Pence to reverse the result. Eric Herschmann, a key White House aide and lawyer, said on tape that Eastman tried to reverse Biden's win.
Eastman doesn't pursue ambulances. Former Chapman University School of Law professor and dean. The NYT noted Eastman's "strong conservative legal credentials."
Trump believed the election had been rigged and that Pence might deny Biden the presidency because of Eastman. Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell also influenced the president.
The Times found several legal experts who defend Trump's conduct.
Former federal prosecutor and defense attorney Daniel L. Zelenko supported Ellison. The key is having concurrent evidence that Trump understood the election wasn't stolen yet attempted to stay in power.
Law scholar Samuel W. Buell made a similar pitch. "You must show" that he knew his actions were illegal, he told the Times.
No proof exists. Trump's rally address on the Ellipse south of the White House wasn't meant to cause a riot, but to educate Capitol-goers on why he had defeated Biden.
Marchers were expected to persuade Republican legislators that Pence should call the race for Trump. Peacefully advocating Trump's opinion, as he did, is not a crime.
Indeed, select committee testimony showed Trump felt he'd defeated Biden. William Barr, Trump's attorney general, stated so despite telling him he was incorrect. Barr's latest book alleges Trump utilized Giuliani's material to bolster his win-confidence.
The House select committee's final report may be a full-scale attack on Trump and the GOP. The GOP must fight back.
Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican thrown off the panel by Pelosi and Cheney, should expose the committee's partisanship, say others.
Jordan's report should identify instances Trump requested Capitol demonstrators to be peaceful. It should explain how jurists think the former president acted lawfully, if not intelligently.
(Trump wasn't quick enough to stop the bloodshed. Really? 2:13 p.m.: Capitol breached. Trump encouraged the crowd 25 minutes later to heed to police and go quietly.
Still The president's worst day was Jan. 6, 2021. Some of his most committed supporters rioted over unfounded suspicions that voting machines were manipulated to give Biden the win. Trump's vice president was not authorized by the Constitution or Congress to prohibit Biden from becoming president.
Trump's handling of the problem has become a chronic sore for his party, as no Republican congressman can dissent publicly with him without Trump unleashing his strongest faithful against them.
Trump often behaves badly. Garland indicting Trump is improbable because the attorney general knows that respectable legal scholars don't think the case would stand up in court.
Post legal journalist Ruth Marcus is leftist. "Prosecutors must be confident in their ability to win," she writes. She adds that Garland is deliberate and meticulous and "would proceed only if the evidence was overwhelming." Underwhelming.
Despite the House select committee's desire for Garland to oppose Trump, he's likely to avoid doing so. He doesn't appear to be a man who hopes to be remembered for causing great chaos if the Democrats' attorney general indicts a popular, contentious Republican former president.
Even the liberal legal system considers such an act unlawful. Vegas oddsmakers presumably think he'll lose his lawsuit.