Legal experts took to social media on Monday after the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots released the executive summary of its final report.
Vice reporter Tess Owen observed that the summary has nothing in it about the pipe bombs set at the RNC and DNC on Jan. 6, which is something that the FBI has been unable to solve. While it isn't the responsibility of the Jan. 6 committee to solve this crime, it was such a significant piece of the puzzle allies agreed it was unusual not to mention it.
The Nation's legal analyst, Elie Mystal, penned a summary of the factoids concluding with a quote of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).
“Ours is not a system of justice where the foot soldiers go to jail and the masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass," said Raskin.
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As Mystal explained, Raskin is correct that it's supposed to be that way, but he's wrong that the ringleaders don't get away with the crimes.
"That’s exactly what our system of justice does all the time," said Mystal. The people who make the system of justice work that way are prosecutors, cowardly prosecutors who would rather bury a low-level, poorly represented criminal in a trucker hat under the jail than risk tangling with a well-funded, politically connected, openly guilty white man in a suit."
MSNBC's Justice reporter Ken Dilanian pointed out that the House Select Committee's executive summary of the Jan. 6 report "is a powerful summary of the evidence against Trump, but it's utterly silent on why the FBI and other security agencies failed to act on intelligence suggesting far-right extremists were planning violence in DC on 1/6."
The summary does include some details about the information that was gathered in Dec. 2020 about the Proud Boys preparing for the attack on the Capitol. That was turned over to the FBI. Another reference in the summary talks about the online chats from the Oath Keepers referring to state capitols being attacked by protesters across the country earlier in the year: “If they were going to go in, then they should have went all the way.”
“There is only one way. It is not signs. It’s not rallies. It’s f*cking bullets,” a user replied at the time.
The summary also cited public sources who emailed the Secret Service a document titled “Armed and Ready, Mr. President,” on December 24th, that were a response to Trump's Dec. 19 tweet calling allies to the Capitol.
The government had the information to act, but there's no indication about why that information never made it to those that could act to protect the Capitol.
Legal analyst Brad Moss agreed that if the full report doesn't deal with the answers around this then they'll be ripe for criticism. The Department of Homeland Security, which houses the Secret Service, knew about many of the reports. The communications between top officials there disappeared after being subpoenaed.
Former DOJ national security expert David Laufman agreed that the summary "should have included key findings on what law enforcement knew about threats of violence before January 6 and why more proactive action to interdict it wasn’t taken." He noted that it "would not have diluted force of findings and recommendations on Trump."
In an analysis by legal experts Norman Eisen, E. Danya Perry and Fred Wertheimer, the lawyers noted that the criminal referrals for Trump are "largely unprecedented cases. They will not be easy to bring or to win. Ultimately, that is why the committee’s referrals are so meaningful. Prosecutors need all the help they can get, and the Jan. 6 committee just gave it to them."
Legal analyst and Lawfare writer Anna Bower also called out the numerous comments in the Jan. 6 summary about the Georgia probe into Donald Trump and his efforts to push officials in the state to throw out the certified election results.
\u201cWhile the J6C\u2019s criminal referrals are tailored to federal law and DOJ\u2019s investigation, notable that its Executive Summary repeatedly also mentions the Fulton Co. investigation\u2014and notes that GA prosecutors have received information from the committee directly re: obstruction.\u201d— Anna Bower (@Anna Bower) 1671489556