For weeks, if not months, leadership at the Department of Justice has repeatedly told us they will follow the facts and the law and will hold Jan. 6 wrongdoers accountable “at any level.” Yet they provide few updates or concrete information. We have seen zero overt law enforcement activity against anyone but the foot soldiers of former President Donald Trump’s insurrection. In substance, the DOJ is asking the American people to trust them. But following the House’s final (at least for a while) Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday, that trust is eroding.
Over the course of these eight public Jan. 6 committee hearings, we have seen compelling (not circumstantial) evidence of Trump’s potential crimes. Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testified that Trump told a group of department officials that it didn’t matter if the election was rife with fraud, adding, “just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.” This is direct evidence — relayed by Donoghue under oath — of criminal intent. Trump apparently neither believed nor cared whether there was provable evidence of widespread election fraud, he simply wanted his DOJ officials to lie — “just say the election was corrupt” — and let him use that lie to help steal a second presidential term.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder described these statements as a “smoking gun” proving Trump’s corrupt intent, adding that it would be “laughable” for anyone to argue otherwise to a jury. I agree wholeheartedly with Holder. (Full disclosure: He was my direct boss when he was the United States attorney for the District of Columbia.) And for anyone who might dismiss Holder as hopelessly partisan, it’s worth remembering that before he served as U.S. attorney for D.C., he was nominated to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia — by President Ronald Reagan. [Continue reading…]