The highly partisan House Select Committee tasked to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021 held its first of several planned public hearings this week and began its undisguised process of attempting to blame former President Donald Trump for the entire ordeal.
One person apparently convinced of Trump’s fault is former Defense Sec. William Cohen, argued on Friday that it would be a “political” decision if the Justice Department didn’t issue an indictment for the former president, Breitbart reported.
Cohen, a former Republican member of Congress from Maine who led the Defense Department under former President Bill Clinton, suggested during an appearance Friday on MSNBC that the Select Committee had made its case that Trump should be indicted for his role before and during the violent unrest at the Capitol building.
Would be “political” to not indict Trump
The former senator and secretary seemed especially pleased with the job done by the committee Vice-Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who utilized her opening remarks during the hearing to lay out the facts as she saw them about former President Trump’s culpability.
“Liz Cheney needs a great deal of congratulations here. She’s a profile in courage,” Cohen gushed. “What was most compelling about her comments, they were understated — a kind of a Joe Friday, just the facts. I’m going to tell you what the facts are, lay them out for you. I’m going to present this as I might present this to a jury. The jury here is the American people.”
“Then secondly, I would say to the Justice Department. If all of the facts are laid out at the end of this process where they file a complete report, and the Justice Department doesn’t take action,” he continued, “I would say the Justice Department then is acting politically in the face of overwhelming, compelling evidence for the Justice Department not to seek to hold the president of the United States and all of those who supported him accountable — that’s to me would be a political statement from the Justice Department.”
“I understand that Justice doesn’t want to appear to be prosecuting or going after the president based on partisanship but the facts as they are being laid out leaves no question in my mind,” Cohen added.
Some former prosecutors agree that Trump should be indicted
Cohen went on to later reiterate, “In this particular case if these facts are laid out in a way that are overwhelmingly convincing and persuasive for the Justice Department not to seek some sort of complaint, information, or indictment against the former president of the United States, I think that would be a political act reacting to what the public sentiment might be out there but not in materials of what the facts prove.”
The former politician and Defense secretary is certainly not alone in believing that the House Select Committee adequately made its case that former President Trump should face indictment and prosecution, according to VOA News.
Several former federal prosecutors told the outlet that they had reached similar conclusions after watching the primetime public hearing this week, and like Cohen, praised Cheney for her own version of a prosecutorial opening statement in a trial.
No outcome will satisfy everybody
Of course, regardless of whatever facts may be presented to the American people by way of the committee hearings about Trump’s alleged complicity in an “insurrection,” there will be a sizeable portion of the nation’s populace that will view any sort of indictment or prosecution as a purely partisan and politically motivated attack on a political opponent.
Conversely, if the committee ultimately fails to make a convincing and indisputable case that Trump is at fault, there will similarly be a substantial chunk of the American people who will continue to loudly insist and demand — as they have for nearly seven years now — that the former president be immediately indicted, arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned for a host of alleged crimes and misdeeds.