Jan. 6 Hearings Fuel The Question: Did Trump Commit A Crime?

by | Jun 29, 2022 | Politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee has heard dramatic testimony from former White House aides and others about Donald Trump’s relentless efforts to overturn the 2020 election — and his encouragement of supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol bent on achieving his goal. But the big question remains: Was any of it criminal?Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide in Trump’s White House, added fresh urgency to the question Tuesday as she delivered explosive new testimony about Trump’s actions before and during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. She said Trump was informed that there were armed protesters at his morning rally before he stood onstage and told them to “fight like hell” at the Capitol. Then he argued with his security detail, she said, trying to go with the crowd.AdvertisementTrump’s aides knew there could be legal consequences. Hutchinson said White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told her “we’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable” if Trump had gone to the Capitol that day as Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s win. Cipollone said Trump could be exposing himself to obstruction of justice charges or defrauding the electoral count, she said.On the heels of Hutchinson’s public testimony, the House committee on Wednesday issued a subpoena for Cipollone, saying in a letter that while he had provided an “informal interview” on April 13, his refusal to provide on-the-record testimony made their subpoena necessary.Cassidy Hutchinson, a top aide to Mark Meadows when he was White House chief of staff in the Trump administration, is sworn in as the House Jan. 6 select committee holds a public hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.The Washington Post via Getty ImagesThe Justice Department has recently expanded its investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, targeting some of Trump’s allies in Washington and around the country who participated in his scheme to invalidate Biden’s victory. But prosecutors have not indicated whether they will bring a case against the former president.AdvertisementA look at potential crimes, and what Congress and the Justice Department might do: What has the evidence shown? Witnesses have testified that Trump was repeatedly advised by campaign aides and top government officials that he had lost the election to Biden and that his claims of widespread voter fraud were divorced from reality.Yet he pressed ahead, shouting the false allegations that culminated in the riot at the Capitol. …

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