Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who served on the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot, sounds confident that Donald Trump will eventually be criminally charged for his efforts after the last presidential election to upend what were the duly documented results, which obviously would have set democracy substantially back.
Trump’s moves, if implemented as he wanted, would have potentially thrown out the presidential votes cast by millions of people in states around the country. The riot panel in the House recommended Trump for prosecution by the Justice Department on charges including obstructing an official proceeding. The proceeding relevant here was the Congressional gathering to certify the outcome of the 2020 election.
“Even before entertaining that hypothetical challenge, I’d rather focus on the idea that it’s almost inevitable that there will be charges, because the evidence is just so overwhelming,” Raskin said. “Interference with a federal proceeding — in this case, the joint session of Congress, counting Electoral College votes — was not only the crime, but it was the whole point of “Stop the Steal.” That was Donald Trump’s complete and obvious and naked intent to get people to go in and interfere with the counting of votes and to stop it, delay it, postpone it by any means necessary. So that just seems completely straightforward. And that’s just one of the referrals.” Raskin also noted how the Justice Department could charge Trump on fronts the committee didn’t cover with its recommendations for prosecution.
“Now, if he were to somehow escape the grasp of the criminal justice system here, this would be a painful thing for the country and for millions and millions of people who have held on to the idea that we have one system of justice,” Raskin added to MSNBC. “And it doesn’t make sense that more than 900 people can be charged and prosecuted and convicted and sentenced for things like assaulting federal officers and destroying federal property and seditious conspiracy, which means conspiracy to overthrow the government, and yet the guy who’s at the very top of the pyramid, who set all of the events into motion, somehow walks off scot free. I mean, I think that is a blow to our justice system.”
New arrests in Capitol riot cases are still continuing, with a long series announced just this month — more than two years after the violence originally took place. Sentencings are also continuing. A former Marine who sprayed a chemical irritant at officers outside the Capitol just before the building itself was breached elsewhere was recently sentenced to 68 months in prison, which is a little over five and a half years. Richard Barnett, who infamously put his feet up on a desk in an office for Nancy Pelosi, was recently convicted of all the charges he faced.