Deep Dive: The January 6th Obstruction Trials
It’s been over two years since the January 6th insurrection on the capitol, and what has been done about it? For some context, on January 6th, 2021, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the capitol in the afternoon, looking to overturn the 2020 election results. Many believed the presidential election was invalid and were encouraged to commit this act. The aftermath of the riot has led to many trials and court hearings. These trials have been very controversial because at the root of these are different political agendas.
As of December 19th, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives has asked federal prosecutors to charge Donald Trump with insurrection and obstruction in his role in the riot. The government has to fine-comb through every case charged with auring the January 6th riot. The crimes range from petty offenses such as trespassing or disorderly conduct to severe obstruction and destruction of property charges. However, people argue that many of the cases were unfair and some of the “crimes” committed were just people exercising their First Amendment right to protest. Judge Katsas, on the appeal court panel who Trump appointed, seems to agree with this argument. Contrary to Katsas majority of the judges on this panel believe that the crimes were rightly charged.
Recently the January 6th committee released the final report on the insurrection. There is one clear theme throughout the information; there is one man to blame. Donald Trump is consistently referred to and accused of making false claims and encouraging supporters to do this. One of the chapters is named “Be there. Will be wild!” This refers to a tweet Trump had sent out encouraging people to come to protest in Washington D.C, which prosecutors later used as evidence of Trump inciting the riot. The report also states that the DOJ found no significant evidence of fraud, thus proving Trump’s repetitive claims wrong.
At least 290 people have been charged with obstruction charges as of now. It is still heavily debated whether severe charges such as obstruction should be handed out this easily.