According to CNN’s chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, ex-President Donald Trump is concerned about the possibility of facing criminal charges in the wake of his acquittal by the Senate over the weekend on a charge of incitement of insurrection. Last month, the House impeached Trump for his incitement of a crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 and attempted to forcibly stop the formal certification of Joe Biden’s victory. At the conclusion of Trump’s subsequent Senate trial on Saturday, a full 57 out of 100 Senators voted in favor of conviction — but 67 votes are required to actually enact the move.
As Collins noted, the acting U.S. Attorney for D.C. has already insisted that all reasonable charges over the January 6 riot are an option. She added as follows:
‘Privately [Trump] has expressed concern that he could be charged related to the January 6th rally — or riot I should say. That’s what he has told multiple people. That’s in part why he has been so quiet ever since he left the White House. We have hardly heard from the president — only really in these written statements — he does not have access to his Twitter account, and one adviser to the president told me that is directly related to that, is that he is concerned that charges could happen and they could be awaiting him.’
In other words, Trump might be keeping quiet amidst fear of potential self-incrimination. After initially justifying the violence at the Capitol, he acknowledged his imminent departure from the White House in a video message and hasn’t spoken in public in front of a camera since actually exiting office.
Meanwhile, Collins added as follows:
‘When you saw Mitch McConnell come out to try to explain his acquittal vote and he very strongly implied that the legal system should take care of Donald Trump, saying that he was practically and morally responsible for that riot, that really does get at the heart of a big concern for the former president. It’s something that Liz Cheney has said as well, implying that there could be a prosecution in Donald Trump’s future related to what happened on January 6th and the role that he played in it.’
Referring to an angry statement that Trump put out after the Senate trial vote in which the ex-president characterized the impeachment proceedings as a witch hunt, Collins added as follows:
‘And the reason that’s so significant is because that gives cover if [charges] do happen, because of course, if you see the president’s statement, the former president said that this is another continuation of the witch hunt. That’s likely what he would use if he were to be charged.’
Check out Collins’s reporting below: