Looming large over proceedings. Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty ImagesThe criminal referral of Donald Trump to the Department of Justice by a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is largely symbolic – the panel itself has no power to prosecute any individual.
Nonetheless, the recommendation that Trump be investigated for four potential crimes – obstructing an official proceeding; conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to make a false statement; and inciting, assisting or aiding or comforting an insurrection – raises the prospect of an indictment, or even a conviction, of the former president.
It also poses serious ethical questions, given that Trump has already announced a 2024 run for the presidency, especially in regards to the referral over his alleged inciting or assisting an insurrection. Indeed, a Department of Justice investigation over Trump’s activities during the insurrection is already under way.
But would an indictment – or even a felony conviction – prevent