The majority of Americans believe that Donald Trump should be held criminally liable for the role he played in the “seditious conspiracy” and “inciting insurrection” that took place at our nation’s Capitol back on January 6.
Just before a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, Donald Trump addressed them at the “Stop the Steal” rally. Trump pushed false narratives that there had been widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. He told his supporters that they would not surrender and he then urged them to march to the Capitol to stop Congress from verifying the Electoral College votes and recognizing Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.
The angry mob breached the Capitol building, breaking windows and smashing down doors. They vandalized the halls and offices of lawmakers while waving Confederate flags.
Even though the out-of-control mob terrorized lawmakers who were inside there was little resistance offered by police especially compared to the violent response police had to Black Lives Matter protesters.
The insurrection resulted in five deaths, one of which was a Capitol Police officer, who was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.
The mob sprayed chemicals at police and members of the National Guard. They also used steel pipes. Over 50 officers were injured.
Hours after the siege started, Trump posted a pre-recorded video to Twitter praising rioters, who he called “patriots.”
“We love you. You’re very special,” Trump stated before giving them permission to go home.
Vice President Mike Pence has refused to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from the office so Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats filed articles of impeachment to attempt to impeach Trump twice.
Trump’s legal issues may run much deeper than being the first president in history to be impeached twice. In the weeks that follow it is very likely that Trump could be charged with the commission of several federal, and even state crimes.
Once Trump leaves the Oval Office on January 20, he no longer has the protections that holding the office of president provides. Justice Department policy says that a sitting president cannot be indicted, however, a civilian can and there is overwhelming evidence that Trump committed multiple crimes.
Now, the Constitution does give the president pardon power but it says nothing about self-pardons. Trump has mentioned pardoning himself as well as members of his family in recent weeks.
It is not clear if a self-pardon would withstand a legal challenge if the Biden administration made the decision to mount one. One thing that is clear is that Trump does not have the power to pardon state crimes. So, if it very possible that federal cases could be filed against Trump with prosecutions under D.C. law in states such as Virginia and Maryland.
If pursued inciting the riot under 18 U.S.C. sec. 2383 anyone who “incites … any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto” will be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The evidence cited in the House’s pending article of impeachment- supports a criminal charge of inciting rebellion or insurrection against Trump.
Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), worked with Trump to conspire to exhort the large crowd to stop the counting of votes in the Electoral College, which is a U.S. law contained in the Constitution.
Trump encouraged his followers for weeks to come to Washington on January 6 for the “wild” event.
It is also possible that Trump could face charges of solicitation to commit a crime of violence, under 18 U.S.C. sec. 373. It is a crime to “solicit, command, induce or endeavor to persuade another person to commit a felony involving the threat or use of physical force.”
If prosecutors can prove that whoever killed Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was incited to violence at the rally by Trump he could be tried for inciting murder.
For now, we wait and hope that Trump is charged with his crimes, and justice is served.