The Jan. 6 committee has dropped a stick of political dynamite by outlining a criminal case against former President Donald Trump, but the Justice Department decides whether to light the fuse. And Democrats are starting to nudge.
In a blockbuster Wednesday night court filing, congressional investigators said there’s a strong case the former president committed felony obstruction when he tried to overturn the election, among other potential charges. Jan. 6 panel members, however, say DOJ shouldn’t wait for them — importantly, it could be months before they make the call on any related formal criminal referrals.
And progressives are starting to ramp up pressure on DOJ to investigate.
“The evidence is mounting that there was a concerted effort to overturn the results of the election in so many different ways. And there’s, in my view, a lot of information that President Trump knew about it — and more,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said Thursday.
Until now, Washington has viewed the decision on a criminal referral against Trump as a major pivot point in the Jan. 6 probe. But select panel members are now saying there may not be a need for one, given how much detail they’ve outlined in the public record so far — which leaves the onus increasingly on Attorney General Merrick Garland, as Democrats worry about their own foothold in Congress and Trump openly weighs another run in 2024. [Continue reading…]