The House of Representatives special committee investigating the Capitol attack is reviewing whether Donald Trump will be released on Jan.
The committee’s new focus on the potential of a conspiracy marks an aggressive escalation of its investigation as it faces evidence suggesting that the former president may have committed criminal behavior outrageous enough to warrant a referral to the Justice Department justify.
House investigators are interested in whether Trump was overseeing a criminal conspiracy after communications from Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows and others suggested the White House‘s coordinated efforts to halt Biden’s certification, the sources said.
The special committee has several thousand messages, including some suggesting that Trump’s White House notified a number of House Republicans of its plan that then-Vice President Mike Pence abused his ceremonial role and failed to confirm Biden’s victory, the said Sources.
The fact that the special committee has news suggesting that the Trump White House has directed Republican members of Congress to implement a plan to end Biden’s certification is significant as it could lead to remittances from the panel for potential crimes, the sources said.
Members and lawyers of the select committee are first examining whether Trump and his staff have broken federal law in an attempt to stop certification, which prohibits obstruction of a congressional process – the joint session on Jan. 6.
The Special Committee believes that Trump may be responsible for a disability charge for having not intervened for hours to stop the violence in the Capitol on his behalf by his supporters.
However, the special committee is also looking into whether Trump oversaw an unlawful conspiracy that included coordination between the “political elements” of the White House plan, which was communicated to Republican lawmakers and extremist groups that stormed the Capitol, the sources said.
This would be likely the most serious charge the select committee could consider referring to as it is considering a range of other criminal behaviors that have emerged in the past few weeks from obstruction to potential wire fraud by the GOP.
Select committee vice chair Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney referred to the disability charge when reading the criminal code before members unanimously voted last November to recommend Meadows in defiance of Congress for failing to testify.
The Guardian previously reported that Trump personally directed attorneys and political activists working out of the Willard Hotel in Washington DC to find ways to get Biden’s certification on Jan. 6, just hours before the US Capitol attack impede.
However, House investigators have yet to find evidence linking Trump personally to the Capitol attack, the sources said, and could ultimately only recommend recommendations for the direct disability charge, which has already been leveled against some 275 rioters, and not because of conspiracy.
The Justice Department could still indict Trump and his aides separately from the special committee’s investigation, but one of the sources said the panel had no idea – in mid-December – whether the agency is actively investigating the former president’s potential crime.
A spokesman for the select committee did not want to comment on the details of the investigation. A Justice Department spokesman did not want to comment on whether the agency opened a criminal investigation against Trump or his closest allies on January 6.
Still, the select committee appears to be working to make at least some recommendations – or, alternatively, recommendations in its final report – that an aggressive Justice Department attorney could use to conduct a criminal investigation, the sources said.
The special committee is reviewing the evidence primarily to identify legislative reforms to prevent a repeat of Trump’s plan to undermine the election, but members say they have an obligation to refer this to the Justice Department if they discover Trump is against Violates federal law.
A criminal referral to the Justice Department – essentially a law enforcement recommendation – has no formal legal weight, as Congress has no power to compel it and House investigators have no power to prosecute witnesses to a crime.
But a credible criminal referral from the select committee could have significant political implications, given the importance of the January 6 investigation, and put pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to open an investigation or explain why he may not do so.
Internal discussions about criminal transfers intensified after Meadows forwarded notices on Jan.
In an exchange released by the Special Committee, a Republican lawmaker apologized to Meadows for failing to pull off a coup, saying the 6th Biden certification.
The special committee believes news like this – as well as remarks from a Republican in the House of Commons when the Capitol was attacked – could constitute part of a White House conspiracy to obstruct the joint session, the sources said.
In terms of objections to six states, the text also appears to align with a memo from Trump attorney John Eastman who suggested filing objections against six states – which drew the ghost that the White House was spreading the plan further than previously known.
Bennie Thompson, chairman of the select committee, told ABC last week that the investigation found evidence that the events of Jan.
The select committee advisors said in their report of Congressional disregard for Meadows that they intended to question Trump’s former chief of staff about the releases he volunteered before he broke off a cooperation agreement and refused to testify.
Thompson has also suggested to reporters that he believes Meadows stopped working with the investigation in part under pressure from Trump, but the special committee has not opened a separate investigation to intimidate witnesses against the former president, one of the sources said.