Former President Donald Trump could face a double whammy next week as the Jan. 6 House Committee is reportedly poised for criminal reprimands and Democrats mull over the public release of his closely guarded tax records.
The Jan. 6 committee is scheduled to hold its final hearing on Monday, at which the Justice Department is widely expected to file criminal charges against a number of people in connection with the Capitol attack. Trump, who offered false conspiracy theories about 2020 voter fraud to supporters just before the riot and is accused of instigating it, could be charged with multiple crimes.
On Friday night, the panel considered charging Trump with insurgency, obstructing an official process and conspiring to defraud the United States, according to an Associated Press report, citing two people familiar with the deliberations.
Indicting a former president for insurgency would be unprecedented. The indictment could also potentially close the door on Trump’s political future, since the US Constitution specifically forbids anyone involved in rioting from holding federal office.
Thomas Whalen, an associate professor of social sciences at Boston University, told ABC affiliate WCVB that simply charging Trump with insurgency could force the Supreme Court to decide whether his hopes of returning to the White House would be dashed.
“The 14th amendment says you don’t have to be convicted of conspiracy against the United States — or treason in this case — of insurrection, it’s pretty vague,” Whalen told the outlet. “The fact that you have been accused of this may be enough to prevent you from seeking the highest office in the country.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee is reportedly considering a vote to publicly share the former president’s tax returns. Trump defied tradition by refusing to share the records before he was elected in 2016 and engaged in a series of legal battles to keep the documents away from Democrats for years.
The tax documents were finally turned over to the committee last month after a Supreme Court decision. While the records are still largely subject to confidentiality laws, the federal tax code allows the committee, at its discretion, to release the records to the public as part of a report to the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers were told on Friday that a meeting of the panel is expected on Tuesday when the vote on releasing the recordings could go ahead, it said The Wall Street Journal.
Democratic Rep. Richard Neal, committee chair, was thanked for calling the meeting in a tweet from fellow Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey, who also serves as chair of the oversight subcommittee.
“I’ve been chasing Trump’s taxes like Captain Ahab for six years,” Pascrell said tweeted. “Thanks to @RepRichardNeal for inviting me to discuss them next week. God willing, this is the final chapter of this saga. Stay tuned.”
House Democrats hoping to issue criminal reprimands or declassify Trump’s tax records must do so at breakneck speed. Republicans, far less likely to take action against the former president, are scheduled to take control of the chamber on January 3.
news week has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-heads-holidays-facing-intensified-heat-over-jan-6-tax-probes-1767874 Trump heads off on vacation and faces increased January 6 heat, tax investigations