Trump 'one step closer' to federal prosecution after aides' testimony to Jan 6th committee: report
Donald Trump (Photo by Nicholas Kamm for AFP)

According to a report from the Guardian, revelations from former Donald Trump aides at the first of the six House committee hearings on the Jan 6th insurrection have given federal prosecutors a solid basis to pursue criminal charges against the former president.

On Thursday, the bi-partisan committee dropped a bombshell by announcing that multiple Republican Party lawmakers made an appeal to Trump for pardons -- and the committee has proof -- which led the Guardian's Hugo Lowell to write that any hope that they may have had that they didn't know they were doing something illegal just went down in flames.

According to his Guardian report, "The news that multiple House Republicans asked the Trump White House for pardons – an apparent consciousness of guilt – was one of three revelations portending potentially perilous legal and political moments to come for Trump and his allies, adding, "The extraordinary claim also raised the prospect that the Republican members of Congress seeking clemency believed Trump’s election fraud claims were baseless: for why would they need pardons if they really were only raising legitimate questions about the election."

As Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) explained, "It’s hard to find a more explicit statement of consciousness of guilt than looking for a pardon for actions you’ve just taken, assisting in a plan to overthrow the results of a presidential election.”

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Add to that, clips of former Trump aides admitting that it was common knowledge in Trump's White House that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen -- and that Trump had been told that repeatedly -- make it more likely that the Department of Justice has a growing case against Trump.

"The admissions by some of Trump’s top aides are important since they could put federal prosecutors one step closer to being able to charge Trump with obstructing an official proceeding or defrauding the United States on the basis of election fraud claims he knew were false," Lowell wrote before citing former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance wrote that "the panel appears to be trying to make is the legal doctrine of 'willful blindness.'"

The report adds, "The potential case against Trump might take the form that he could not use, as his defense against charges he violated the law to stop Biden’s certification on January 6, that he believed there was election fraud, when he had been credibly notified it was 'bullshit'" as it was characterized by former attorney general Bill Barr.

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