Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, was questioned about the possibility that the Justice Department will use information from the House committee hearings on January 6th to indict the former president during an appearance on CNN on July 4th morning.
The legal expert first explained to host Christine Romans that the DOJ is not required to return any indictments against the former president and may be reluctant to do so because it would appear “political.”
After that, he listed the “easiest” accusations that could be brought against Trump to catch the DOJ’s eye.
The CNN host prompted, saying, “There is evidence Trump engaged in multiple violations of the law and that that should be investigated.” What charges might the former president be facing if the DOJ presents the evidence to a grand jury, based on the evidence you have already seen presented by the committee?
Mariotti said, “I think the simplest would be incitement. “Inciting others to commit violence is actually illegal. Because the First Amendment generally protects speech, especially political speech, there is typically a very, very steep bar there.”
He added, “I do think the DOJ might be able to meet that bar given the former president knew that people in his audience were armed and he knew they were going to be heading to the Capitol. “In connection with January 6th, we have seen other people charged with obstructing an official proceeding, so that is another possible charge. Those two charges, in my opinion, are the most likely. There are a few other accusations floating around, but I believe those are the two we’ll see the most of.”