Expectation is growing that Donald Trump might face charges for trying to obstruct Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election this year as a House panel collects more evidence into the January 6 attack on the Capitol, former prosecutors and other experts tell The Guardian. Speculation about possible charges against the former president has been heightened by a statement of House January 6 panel vice-chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) suggesting the panel is looking at whether Trump broke a law that bars obstruction of “official proceedings.” Former prosecutors say any new evidence about Trump’s role interfering with Congress’ job to certify the election that could help buttress a potential case by the Department of Justice.
Experts believe the charges could be well founded given Trump’s actions on January 6, including incendiary remarks to a rally before the Capitol attack and failure to act for hours to stop the riot. “Based on what is already in the public domain, there is powerful evidence that numerous people, in and out of government, attempted to obstruct – and did obstruct, at least for a while – an official proceeding – i.e., the certification of the Presidential election,” said former DOJ inspector general and former prosecutor Michael Bromwich. “That is a crime.” The panel has amassed significant evidence, including more than 30,000 records and interviews with more than 300 people, among whom were key White House staff. Recent rulings by Trump-appointed district court judges have supported using the obstruction statute, which federal prosecutors have cited in about 200 cases involving rioters charged by DOJ for their roles in the Capitol assault that injured about 140 police officers and left five dead.