Jan. 6 committee vs. Donald Trump: A tale of the most obvious charges ever alleged

It took 18 months for the House Jan. 6 committee to announce what many Americans already knew: There’s a walloping amount of evidence that suggests Donald Trump did some serious crime-doing before, during and after the domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The committee on Monday suggested that the U.S. Department of Justice pursue four charges against Trump relating to the attack, including inciting or assisting an insurrection and conspiracy to defraud the United States. These are serious allegations, and it marks the first time Congress has made criminal referrals for a former president.

If you’re into accountability, it’s good to see. But heck, I could’ve told Congress all of this way back when before the committee even came together. As (alleged) crimes go, these were about the most obvious ones ever (allegedly) committed.

It’s like a (alleged) crime spree committed by a (alleged) crime gang called “The Doin’ Crimes Right Out In The Open Crew.”.

In the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, Trump didn’t exactly cloak his intentions to protest the results, babbling on and on about how the voting was likely “rigged.” The babbling only grew louder after the race was called for Joe Biden.

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The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand

Trump lied and lied and riled his base, all while applying pressure on various state officials to buy into comically absurd conspiracies about voter fraud and malevolent voting machines, hokum fed to him by a weird pillow magnate, a caricature of what used to be Rudy Giuliani and a host of other grifty grifters.

Simply put, this was not the work of a (alleged) crime-committing mastermind. It was the clumsiest, most bald-faced and bonkers (alleged) effort to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power one can imagine.

It’s hard to say criminal referrals aren’t necessary when we all saw it unfold

The Jan. 6 committee shared its criminal referrals and the evidence behind them during Monday’s hearing, and the committee’s full report was released online. But for the layperson who doesn’t believe a satanic cabal of Democrats stole the election using voting machines on loan from Hugo Chavez’s ghost, the whole thing is rather simple:.

Trump ginned up doubt in the fairness of the 2020 presidential election before a single vote was cast. Trump claimed victory while ballots were still being counted. Once the actual winner, Biden, was announced, Trump said the election was stolen.

Trump then urged his supporters to descend on Washington, D.C., On Jan. 6, 2021, the day the election was to be certified. Trump riled his supporters up at the White House rally, encouraging them to march to the Capitol.

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Once the attack began, Trump blamed Vice President Mike Pence for not helping him stop the election certification, directing the rioters ire at Pence. As the attack was ongoing, Trump did nothing to calm his supporters. Once he finally tweeted a call for calm, he referred to the rioters as “very special.” In the wake of the attack, Trump continued to lie about the election and cast the attackers who have since been arrested or incarcerated as victims of political persecution.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States? Yeah, that sounds about right.

The “conspiracy” the Jan. 6 committee established is about as complicated as 1 + 1 = 2.

If the Justice Department pursues any of the committee’s criminal referrals, it will carefully put forth an evidence-rich criminal case against the former president. That will undoubtedly take time.

But for those of us who still have our oars firmly in the water, it’s pretty much: “Did he do these crimes? Heck yeah, he did, we watched it all happen in real time, for Pete’s sake. Where have you been?”.

This may not end up being the (alleged) crime of the century, but it has to be a strong contender for the dumbest (alleged) crime of all time.

Did you hate this column from USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke? If so, consider a donation to the Insult-A-Columnist Holiday Food Drive. You can vote under the team name RexStinks (or RexRocks if you’d prefer), and all the money goes to help people in your area facing food insecurity. Check it out: feedingamerica.Org/USATodayRex.

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Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke and Facebook: facebook.Com/RexIsAJerk.

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