The Guardian reports that interest in Trump’s role in a criminal conspiracy was increased after the select committee received documents from former chief of staff Mark Meadows. Even though Meadows has refused to testify, and is still withholding some documents under a spurious claim of executive privilege, what the committee did receive was enough to connect the dots on several already-known fragments of Trump’s scheme.
Specifically, some documents feature Trump’s efforts to brief members of Congress on their proposed role in halting the count of the electoral votes. The efforts to recruit other Republicans into this plot, and instruct them on how to act in order to cause a breakdown of the electoral process, may be all that the committee needs to show that Trump was the leader of a criminal conspiracy.
As a reminder, Trump also:
That’s a far from complete list. But it should serve as a reminder that the criminal conspiracy headed by Donald Trump did not begin, nor end, with the attempt to recruit Republican legislators into the scheme.
The select committee is also considering charges of obstruction against Trump, for his failure to take action to stop that other thing that happened on Jan. 6 — the whole violent insurgency thing. There is absolutely no doubt that, on that day, everyone understood exactly who was behind the violence. That’s why everyone, including Fox News propagandists and hard core Trump supporters in Congress, called and texted Trump, begging him to make it stop. Not one of them issued a call to antifa or BLM.
Interference in a U.S. election is illegal. Interference in counting the electoral votes is illegal. Donald Trump clearly engaged in a extensive criminal conspiracy to interfere in the process at every step—from counting the votes in local districts to certifying the votes at the state level, and from sending electors to Washington to the certification of the electoral votes. More documentation and testimony would help to establish this, but it isn’t necessary.
The real question, of course, isn’t whether the select committee sends a referral. It’s what the DOJ will do when they receive it.