Did the Jan. 6 committee prove Trump must face charges?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Bennie Thompson.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack wrapped up its work with a recommendation that the Justice Department prosecute former President Trump for several alleged crimes, including inciting insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of an act of Congress. It's the first time in U.S. history Congress has pushed for criminal charges against a former president. The committee said the evidence it uncovered showed that Trump's "Big Lie" — that the 2020 election had been "stolen" from him — triggered the riot by a mob of his supporters seeking to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden's victory. Committee member Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) said the criminal referrals reflected "the magnitude of the crime against democracy."

Trump's 2024 presidential campaign called the Jan. 6 committee a "Kangaroo court" that conducted a show trial, putting "a stain on this country's history." The Justice Department, which now will decide whether to file charges, did not immediately comment. DOJ special counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed last month, already is investigating the plot to reverse Trump's election loss. He said in a statement he would "exercise independent judgment" in determining whether anyone illegally tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Smith has subpoenaed officials in battleground states, seeking correspondence from Trump and his lawyers. Was the committee's recommendation of charges against Trump a step toward justice, or will it only stir up more chaos?

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