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Political Witch-Hunt? Dems Stepping Up Efforts to 'Prosecute' Donald Trump Ahead of 2022 Midterms

© AP Photo / Ross D. FranklinFILE - In this July 24, 2021, file photo, former President Donald Trump points to supporters after speaking at a Turning Point Action gathering, in Phoenix
FILE - In this July 24, 2021, file photo, former President Donald Trump points to supporters after speaking at a Turning Point Action gathering, in Phoenix - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.01.2022
Democrats and federal prosecutors appear to be "closing in" on former President Donald Trump over his alleged role in the 6 January Capitol protests. What's behind the US mainstream media fuss about the potential criminal charges against the former president?
The New York Times broke on 18 January that federal investigators had posed questions to at least one Capitol protester that were "focused on establishing an organised conspiracy" involving former President Trump and his allies to "to disrupt the joint session of Congress on 6 January."
NYT cites court documents filed by a defence lawyer in the case of Brandon Straka, the founder of the Walk Away movement, who took part in "Stop the Steal" rallies and was at the Capitol on 6 January 2021. Last October, Straka pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and confrontation with a police officer but denied the existence of any "organised conspiracy" involving the former president. According to NYT, the prosecutors' questions apparently mean that the DoJ is digging into Trump and his role in the protests.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump makes a fist while reacting to applause after speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention dinner in Greenville, North Carolina, U.S. June 5, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.01.2022
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MSNBC suggests that Attorney General Merrick B. Garland's statement delivered on the anniversary of 6 January protests could also serve as a hint to DoJ's potential effort targeting Trump. Garland said, in particular, that he was committed "to holding all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law."
The media outlet also remarks that federal prosecutors appear to have taken a tougher approach to the DC incident. Last week they charged Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, with "seditious conspiracy" in relation to the protests. Up until recently, not one of over 700 Capitol protesters has been charged with sedition or insurrection actions.
The House Select Committee on 6 January Attack is also stepping up their efforts to dig dirt on Trump. After the US Supreme Court on 19 January refused a request from Trump to block the release of White House records concerning the Capitol protests, the panel received hundreds of pages of documents from the National Archives.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.12.2021
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Last month, Congressman Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack, told The Guardian that the panel would open an inquiry into Donald Trump's phone calls made hours before the beginning of the Capitol protests if they obtain the former president's White House records. The Guardian claimed on 30 November 2021 that Trump called top lieutenants at the Willard Hotel in Washington from the White House several times seeking to delay the certification of the Electoral College votes.
On 18 January, the House Select Committee also issued subpoenas to Trump allies Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Boris Epshteyn claiming that the four "publicly promoted unsupported claims about the 2020 election and participated in attempts to disrupt or delay the certification of election results." The next day CNN reported, citing anonymous sources, that the panel had subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers associated with Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is engaged to Donald Trump Jr. According to CNN, Eric Trump and Guilfoyle played prominent roles in the former president's "Stop the Steal" initiatives.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. U.S. - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.01.2022
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While the DoJ and House Democrats are apparently trying to get evidence "incriminating" the former president, Democratic Senators warn that the US Justice Department "needs to proceed cautiously" if it decides to charge Donald Trump, according to The Hill.

"Any prosecution that fails to convict Trump risks becoming a disaster and could vindicate Trump, just as the inconclusive report by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team was seized upon by Trump and his allies to declare his exoneration on a separate series of allegations," The Hill writes, quoting Democratic lawmakers.

At the same time, however, an anonymous Democratic senator told the media outlet that it could be hard to win a conviction in court and that Trump might cast doubt on the prosecution as a "politically motivated witch hunt." Another unnamed Democratic senator warned that it would take only one pro-Trump juror to derail a conviction.
Earlier, Andrew Koppelman, a constitutional law expert at Northwestern University, suggested in his interview with Bloomberg that Trump’s right to free speech would complicate any case against him:
"You can’t allow the government to lock up protest leaders whenever the protests produce violence," the lawyer said, adding that Trump's phrase "fight like hell," is nothing more than "familiar political language that does not ordinarily produce violence."
US conservative observers have repeatedly denounced the DoJ's "manhunt" against January Sixers and the 6 January committee's investigation as a "continuation" of the anti-Trump campaign, which was kicked off by the Democratic Party from day one of his presidency. GOP lawmakers believe that the 6 Jan. panel is nothing but a partisan stunt given that it has only two Republicans on its board with both of them being highly critical of Donald Trump and his MAGA supporters. The Dems' effort seems to have intensified ahead of the 2022 midterm elections which, according to bipartisan observers, could result in a profound defeat of the Democratic Party in one or both Congressional chambers.
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