Here's what the Jan. 6 committee thinks is its ‘best’ move to hold Trump accountable and block his 2024 bid

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol believes it has identified its best move for holding Donald Trump accountable for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt explained on the newspaper's The Daily podcast on Wednesday.

Host Michael Barbaro interviewed Schmidt about the bombshell report he wrote with Alan Feuer, Maggie Haberman, and Luke Broadwater on Trump's role in weighing proposals to seize voting machines, either by the Department of Justice, the Pentagon, or the Department of Homeland Security.

Schmidt explained to Barbaro that a "motley crew" began surrounding Trump after the "guardrails came off" after he refused to accept defeat.

Barbaro said the reporting, "fits a pattern that we have observed for a long time with this president, and so far, Trump has not been held legally accountable for any of it."

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"So how might this — particularly startling new set of events that you have just described — how might that change the prospect of holding Trump legally accountable for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election? Does it change those prospects?"

"So this special committee on Capitol Hill, the Jan. 6 committee, is looking at everything that happened around the election and attack on the Capitol, but it's not just a fact-finding mission," Schmidt replied.

"At the end of this investigation, the committee will make a decision about whether to ask the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation and prosecute those who the committee believes committed crimes," he explained. "And the committee sees that as its best attempt to try and contain Trump, to hold Trump accountable and potentially stop him from becoming president in 2024."

He explained why the latest reporting is so important.

"And what this revelation about voting machines does is draw Trump directly into the attempts to overturn the election in a much bigger way than we knew before," Schmidt said. "And for the committee, the more damning evidence that it has about Trump, the more pressure it thinks it can put on Attorney General Merrick Garland to do something and not look the other way."