Liz Cheney: Oh, we definitely could push criminal charges on Trump

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Liz Cheney was dispatched to do the Sunday shows yesterday so she could draw more attention to the January 6 committee and keep Donald Trump’s name in the headlines for a while longer. She delivered as expected on Jake Tapper’s show, tossing out a claim that the committee “has enough evidence” to ask Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring charges against the former president. Of course, she didn’t specify any of that evidence, only slinging ominous claims about how the Bad Orange Man and his band of evil henchmen knew what they were doing and they “knew it was unlawful” but they “did it anyway.” This will surely warm the cockles of the hearts of liberals and progressive journalists around the country. But she was also forced to admit that there may not be any such recommendation heading to Garland’s office any time soon. (NBC News)

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has enough evidence to refer President Donald Trump for criminal charges, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Sunday.

“It’s definitely clear that what President Trump was doing. What a number of people around him were doing. That they knew it was unlawful. They did it anyway,” Cheney, the vice chair and one of two Republicans on the committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked by host Jake Tapper if they had enough evidence to make a criminal referral for the former president. Cheney added that the panel has not made a decision on moving forward with the referral.

Let’s not lose sight of what’s really going on here. The Democrats are looking at an increasingly likely scenario where they could be heading for a massacre in the midterms. (Though that is still far from assured and we shouldn’t take things for granted or get ahead of ourselves.) They have little to nothing to show their base in terms of getting anything done regarding their agenda and every poll you might care to read indicates that the country has soured on Joe Biden and his party. Donald Trump is the only available target that excites the base, so they obviously want this issue on the front page as much as possible.

What they might have found to suggest criminal charges against Trump might be successful is still a mystery. There is supposedly more information that hasn’t been made available to the public, but it would really have to be a bombshell. The actual people responsible for the January 6 riot have all been dealt with or have their cases in progress in the courts. While there is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump would have loved to find some way to prove that the election was fraudulent and/or prevent the certification of the election, simply desiring those things isn’t a crime. We’re talking about the riot. And if Trump had somehow actively planned and supported it, I’ll be waiting right here for someone to come up with proof of that.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned above, while I’m positive that all of the Democrats and the couple of never-Trumpers on the committee would love nothing more than to see Donald Trump arrested for something, they do not all agree that sending such a report to the Attorney General is a good idea. (Yahoo News)

The leaders of the House committee investigating the Capitol attack have grown divided over whether to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department of former President Donald Trump, even though they have concluded that they have enough evidence to do so, people involved in the discussions said.

The debate centers on whether making a referral — a largely symbolic act — would backfire by politically tainting the Justice Department’s expanding investigation into the Jan. 6 assault and what led up to it.

The shorter version of this debate is fairly simple. Yes, the members of the committee came to their jobs with the purpose of going after Donald Trump, not the actual rioters. But even if they’ve convinced themselves that there might be a case to be made, they’re afraid that the Justice Department will be viewed as acting in a biased, partisan fashion if such charges are brought as a result of the “work” of this kangaroo court committee. Pardon me for asking this but… ya think?

It wouldn’t be “seen as” a partisan witchhunt. It would be a partisan witchhunt. A couple of factors multiply the evidence to that effect. One is the fact that the only Republicans on the panel are confirmed never-Trumpers who have been at war with Donald Trump pretty much from day one. Then there’s the optical problem of the Attorney General being the guy who had assumed he would be viewing all of this from a seat on the Supreme Court bringing charges against the former President who wound up nominating the person who ended up getting “his” seat.

I still wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the committee forwarding the recommendation for charges anyway. Cheney was on CNN again this morning saying that there really wasn’t a division between the committee members over this, but it was more of a “problem of perception.” If they do wind up deciding against a chance to create the “Trump facing charges” headlines I will be honestly surprised.