DOJ and Jan. 6 committee close in on Trump and family, new documents show | Latest News Headlines

DOJ and Jan. 6 committee close in on Trump and family, new documents show

| Latest News Headlines | Google News

WASHINGTON — Investigators from the Justice Department and the House Jan. 6 Committee appear to be closing in on former President Donald Trump and his immediate family for their role in the events leading up to today’s violent assault. there against the Capitol.

In a filing in federal court on Tuesday, attorney Bilal Essayli said prosecutors questioned his client, Jan. 6 defendant Brandon Straka, about his personal ties to Trump.

“The government has been focused on establishing an organized conspiracy between the accused, President Donald J. Trump, and the former president’s allies, to disrupt the joint session of Congress on January 6,” he said. writes Essayli.

Straka, who spoke at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Washington the day before the Capitol attack, is awaiting sentencing for his involvement in the January 2021 uprising, an attempt to undo the election defeat of Trump in 2020. He was initially charged with a felony for inciting rioters to remove a police officer’s shield and enter the building himself, but was allowed to plead a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge in return for his cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday issued subpoenas to three of Trump’s lawyers involved in spreading his lies that he had in fact won the election and suggesting extraconstitutional – and possibly illegal – means. to stay in power. Among them is personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

And the committee also subpoenaed the phone and text logs of second son Eric Trump, who spoke at the pre-insurgency rally near the White House and told the public that Democrat Joe Biden n hadn’t actually won the presidency.

Eric Trump, through a spokeswoman for the family business, said Wednesday he had nothing to hide. “The witch hunt continues. This partisan committee is welcome to review my phone records,” Eric Trump said in a statement. “I have absolutely nothing to hide.”

President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump address a rally outside the White House on January 6, 2021, hours before Trump supporters storm the US Capitol.

Bill Clark on Getty Images

In fact, the House committee is bipartisan, with two Republican members, although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not allow two other Republicans who helped spread Trump’s campaign lies to sit on the panel. .

Both CNN and ABC reported that the committee also subpoenaed the phone records of Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of eldest son Donald Trump Jr. He, Guilfoyle and Eric Trump’s wife Lara Trump also took speak at the January 6 rally, as did Giulani.

The former president capped the event with a 72-minute speech in which he repeated his false claims that the election had been riddled with fraud and that he had in fact won, then urged the tens of thousands of people present to march on Capitol Hill to pressure lawmakers and his own vice president to install Trump for a second term. “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country,” he told them.

While federal prosecutors have charged some 700 Trump supporters in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, Straka’s attorney’s filing is the first clear indication that investigators are personally looking for a connection to Trump and appears to support a promise from the Attorney General. Merrick Garland to continue the investigation wherever she goes.

“The Department of Justice remains committed to holding all January 6 perpetrators, at all levels, accountable under the law, whether they were present that day or were criminally responsible for the assault. against our democracy,” Garland said on the eve of the first uprising. birthday. “We will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

And House Jan. 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson, in a statement accompanying subpoenas from Trump’s attorneys, said the panel was seeking to understand the “pressure campaign” to void the election. “The four people we subpoenaed today advanced unsubstantiated theories of voter fraud, pushed efforts to overturn election results or were in direct contact with the former president about attempts to arrest the electoral vote tally,” said Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi. .

A year ago, Trump became the first president to refuse to hand over power peacefully to his successor. He spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the November 2020 contest he lost. Hours after polls closed and it appeared Biden would be the winner, Trump said he had really won in a “landslide” and that his victory was “stolen from him”. These lies continued with a series of unsuccessful lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states.

After the Electoral College voted Dec. 14, formalizing Biden’s victory, Trump instead turned to a last-ditch ploy to pressure his own vice president to hand the election to Trump during of the pro forma certification by Congress of the election results on 6 January.

Trump asked his supporters to come to Washington that day and told the thousands who showed up that they should march to the Capitol to bully Mike Pence into doing what Trump wanted. “When you catch someone in a cheat, you’re allowed to follow very different rules,” Trump said.

The presence of a crowd on Capitol Hill was key to two possible scenarios Trump and his allies were pushing: first, pressuring Congress and Pence to declare Trump the winner despite the actual election results, or, second, delaying the certification vote long enough for GOP lawmakers in states won by Biden to send in their own list of Trump voters.

Crowds of supporters stormed the building and chanted “Hang Mike Pence” when the vice president failed to do Trump’s bidding. The riot left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer, and four more officers committed suicide in the following weeks and months.

Although the House impeached Trump for inciting the attack, all but seven Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, chose not to convict him, leaving Trump to continue his political career even he is the subject of several investigations.

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