CNN legal analyst points to the 'simplest' Jan 6th criminal referral that will result in a Trump indictment
Donald Trump (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

During an appearance on CNN on July 4th morning, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti was asked if there is any chance that the Justice Department will use anything being gleaned from the House Jan 6th committee hearings to indict the former president.

Speaking with host Christine Romans, the legal analyst first explained that the DOJ is not obligated to return any indictments against the former president and may fear doing so because it would look "political."

Having said that, he explained the "simplest" charges that could be made against Trump that could get the DOJ's attention.

"There is evidence Trump engaged in multiple violations of the law and that that should be investigated," the CNN host prompted. "From the evidence you've seen so far laid out by the committee, what charges could the former president be looking at if the DOJ takes it before a grand jury?"

"I think the simplest would be incitement," Mariotti asserted. "It's actually a crime to incite people to commit violence. Ordinarily, there's a very, very steep First Amendment bar there because, generally the First Amendment protects speech, particularly political speech."

"Given the former president knew that people in his audience were armed and he knew they were going to be heading to the Capitol, I do think the DOJ might be able to meet that bar," he continued. "There also is a potential charge for obstructing an official proceeding; we've seen others in connection with January 6th charged with that. I think those are the two most likely charges. There are some other charges bandied about, but I think those are the two we're most likely to see."

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