As former President Donald Trump waits for what observers expect will be an indictment on bookkeeping fraud from the Manhattan District Attorney, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith is continuing to work on a case with potentially more serious legal jeopardy for the former president, centering on his role in the plot to overturn the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" Friday, former prosecutor Jim Walden outlined the singular piece of evidence needed for Smith to tie Trump criminally to the insurrection.
"We are but humble television producers, and we are pulling all these clips from the hearings to remind ourselves, remind our viewers, what has already been said, what is on record," said anchor Alicia Menendez. "If you are prosecutors, you are going back through that testimony in advance of having the opportunity to, once again, sit down with some of these aides, but be able to ask them a series of questions that they can no longer deflect, what is the preparation, what is the plan that goes into sitting down with these folks?"
"So, it's complicated, right?" said Walden. "Because, as you were saying before, there are so many different strands to it. But really, at the end of the day, the question is simple. Did Donald Trump say to any of his aides that he knew the people were going to go in, the rioters were going to go in?"
There could well be evidence out there that lets investigators determine this, added Walden: "Because we don't know, for example, was anyone recording any of the conversations? People were scared. There was a lot of nervousness. Everyone knew this was turning out badly. It appeared, based on very strong circumstantial evidence, to be a conspiracy, including the president, to breach the Capitol."
"So, what those prosecutors are really looking for is that last bit of evidence, the direct evidence that he knew, before January 6th, that if Pence didn't stop the certification, that those rioters were going to go into the Capitol," said Walden. "They find that direct piece, it's game over."
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Mark Walden explains the last bit of evidence Jack Smith needs to charge Trump for January 6 www.youtube.com