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Cheney says Justice Department not prosecuting Trump could call into question US ‘nation of laws’


In an interview with CNN’s Kasie Hunt, Cheney — the GOP vice chairman of the House select committee investigating the events surrounding the January 6, 2021 uprising — said Trump is “guilty of the most serious dereliction of duty by any president in our country. nation’s history’ and pointed to a judge who said he probably committed crimes. He said the House committee “will continue to monitor the facts. I think the Justice Department will. But they have to make decisions about prosecution.”

“Understanding what it means if the facts and the evidence are there and they decide not to prosecute — how do we call ourselves a nation of laws? I think it’s a very serious, serious balancing act,” Cheney said.

“The question for us is, are we a nation of laws? Are we a country where no one is above the law? And what do the facts and the evidence show?” Cheney said.

He sidestepped questions about whether Trump’s Justice Department prosecution of President Joe Biden would only increase his power with the Republican Party base ahead of the 2024 presidential bid that Trump has repeatedly teased.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to think of it that way,” said Cheney, who faces a Trump-backed challenger in a primary later this month.

He cited Judge David Carter, a federal judge in California who ordered right-wing attorney John Eastman to turn over 101 emails from about Jan. 6, 2021, writing in March that he “finds it more likely that President Trump corruptly tried to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on 6 January 2021”.

“I think he is guilty of the most serious dereliction of duty of any president in the history of our nation,” Cheney said of Trump. “You’ve had a federal judge in California say it’s more likely that he and John Eastman committed two crimes.”

Cheney’s comments come as the House panel prepares for a busy August. A committee spokesman also said last week that the committee intended to share 20 transcripts with the Justice Department, a move that comes as the department’s Jan. 6 criminal investigation heats up.

The House committee is preparing to release its final report ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Cheney faces a number of Trump-aligned candidates in her Aug. 16 primary, including Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman, a former Wyoming GOP congresswoman who has promoted conspiracy theories about the election of 2020.



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