Several legal analysts noted that Rep. Liz Cheney used highly specific legal language that could open the door to a criminal referral for former President Donald Trump for his actions during the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill.
Donald Trump could face criminal charges for Capitol riot
Cheney, who serves as vice chairwoman of the select committee, made such comments during the body’s vote to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress, and after reading a series of text message exchanges between Meadows, Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr.
and several Fox News anchors.
“Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede congressional proceedings?” said Cheney.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Laurence Tribe noted that Cheney’s words were specifically referring to U.S. Code 1505.
The code specifically states that “whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any proceeding pending before any department or agency of the United States is being conducted, or the due and proper exercise of the investigatory power under which any inquiry or investigation is being conducted by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of Congress” should be fined under the law and potentially imprisoned.
CNN’s Elie Honig made a similar comment to anchor John Berman.
The select committee voted unanimously to approve a report that Meadows will be held in contempt of Congress. The House will vote Tuesday on whether to refer this charge to the Justice Department.
This came after Meadows disobeyed a congressional subpoena from the committee after initially cooperating with it.