Donald Trump Faces Criminal Accusations During the Jan. 6 Hearings


Anthony Abrahan

As the Congressional Committee’s Jan. 6 hearings come to a pause, Trump faces new criminal accusations.

Charged with wire fraud, witness tampering, seditious conspiracy and corruptly trying to stop an official proceeding of Congress, former United States president Donald Trump currently faces criminal accusations from the riots at Capitol Hill earlier this year. What was initially a rally became a storming of the Capitol. The Congressional Committee, although unable to press charges, has magnified the pressure on the Justice Department to enact change. After testimonies from 20 new witnesses and new video and audio recordings, the committee has produced an ongoing public record of the televised hearings to serve as history.

Witness testimony from Stephen Ayres aided in building the seditious conspiracy case. As part of the group who illegally entered the Capitol, his statement provided insight into how Trump’s tweets affected his supporters’ actions: “I was hanging on to every word he was saying.” The emphasis on Trump’s tweets and their implications came up many times during these hearings, concluding with the committee finding him guilty of seditious conspiracy.

“I definitely think Trump encouraged people to raid Capitol Hill, he knew what he was doing and he never once tried to stop them until he had to. Even when telling them to go home, he still said he loved them, and that’s just not the right thing to do after these people violently stormed the capitol,” junior Gabriella Reguera said.

Another significant testimony was that of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Hutchinson explained the warnings Trump was given, which suggested the possibility of violence at his Jan. 6 rally. In her testimony, she recounts Pat Cipollone’s warning to Trump: “We’re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.”

“He’s a selfish capitalistic man who thought of his campaign and keeping his supporters in a time when entirely different thoughts and actions were needed,” junior Katelyn Mesa said. 

The assembled evidence is hoped to not only create a historical record documenting the magnitude of the incident but also, as Republican Rep. Liz Cheney states, to convince voters Trump should not be allowed to run for office in the 2024 election. Aside from attempting to sway public opinion, the committee’s options include a third impeachment or putting the 14th amendment into effect, attempting to disqualify Trump from office.

“Personally, I would love to see these hearings affect Trump from running again. Someone willing to encourage the behavior of the capitol rioters should not be allowed to become the president again. He definitely added fuel to the fire and that shouldn’t be looked past,” junior Anabelle Gonzalez said.

Post-hearings, Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, to share his thoughts with his followers, writing “I had an election rigged and stolen from me, and our country.” Trump remains firm in his stance against these allegations.

While this does not mean the former president will be charged with these crimes, it has created a public demand for the Justice Department to take action. These hearings gathered millions of American viewers and public attention. They are expected to resume in September and conclude shortly after.