Criminal Referrals For Rudy Giulani, Mark Meadows, & John Eastman Under Consideration

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According to a report from CNN, the House committee investigating January 6 is considering criminal referrals implicating not just Trump but at least four of his closest allies, including Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, and Mark Meadows, all of whom were involved at either the national or state level — or both — in trying to secure another term in office for Trump despite his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.

A criminal referral implicating Trump or any of these individuals for acts they took in connection to Donald’s attempts to stay in power would not force the Justice Department to bring charges. Instead, the move would constitute more of a formal recommendation for prosecution, although any such referral would no doubt come with substantial evidence. The committee has previously secured a finding from a federal judge that Eastman and Trump likely — although not certainly — pursued criminal acts. The judge concluded as much in a dispute over Eastman providing the riot committee with disputed emails.

In that challenge, the committee argued that the appearance of potential criminal activity warranted an exception to claims of attorney-client privilege connected to Eastman’s work for Trump. Eastman was involved in formulating plans by which Pence could’ve supposedly taken action to block the certification in Congress of Biden’s win, although the legal foundation for such a move was not actually established. Eastman and Clark — the latter of whom is a former official at the Justice Department who when still in power was supportive of Trump’s schemes — have already been targeted by the Justice Department with seizures of personal electronic devices from both. Giuliani is separately facing potentially serious problems in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis identified him as a target of her investigation into pro-Trump election meddling — a status that carries the possibility of criminal charges.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) indicated committee members were set to be deciding on criminal referrals on Sunday, although with the final report still forthcoming and set for release later this month, deliberations could presumably stretch further.

“I think anyone who engages in criminal actions needs to be held accountable for them. And we are going to spell that out,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a committee member, said. A lot of what the committee might cover with its referrals would likely fall under the purview of Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is handling the Justice Department’s investigation into political schemes after the last election to subvert the outcome. Smith works largely independently, without reporting to any other official on a daily basis, and his selection was tied in part to avoiding even the appearance of politics influencing decisions. His addition to the team didn’t expand the investigations Trump was facing, although Donald and allies of his predictably lashed out anyway.