In the first edition of our Criminal Evidence Tracker, we summarized the preexisting evidence of possible crimes by President Trump and the new evidence that emerged at the January 6th Committee’s first hearing on Thursday, June 9th. In this update, we add the additional evidence that was developed in the second hearing on Monday, June 13th, for three federal and state crimes potentially committed by the former president. We will continue to update these trackers after each hearing to show the accumulation of new evidence.
[The Tracker is provided below as a SCRIBD file and also available as a PDF.]
The first hearing zoomed out to define in broad terms a seven-part alleged criminal conspiracy led by Donald Trump to overturn an election that he knew he had lost, with the January 6th insurrection the culmination of that conspiracy. Monday’s hearing delved into the first part of the scheme, Trump’s pre- and post-election massive effort to claim the contest was stolen from him, and the spreading of false information that came to be known as the Big Lie. It became clear through the course of Monday’s hearing that Trump was not only aware that his election fraud claims were baseless, but he potentially manufactured the false claims himself. The Committee made its case about the foundation of the conspiracy principally through former Attorney General Bill Barr, former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, and others who had direct contact with Trump about his false claims testifying in-person or by video.
Although we are just two hearings in, the evidence of possible criminal conduct is steadily mounting, which we document in our three trackers looking at possible federal charges under criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. §371); obstruction of an official proceeding (18 U.S.C §1512); and criminal solicitation to commit election fraud (GA Code § 21-2-604). The hearings have often resembled an argument to a criminal jury. That is not because of the heated rhetoric being used; the Committee has been quite restrained. Instead, it is because of the substance: the power, quantity, and import of the evidence.
Because of the implications of the first two hearings for criminal prosecution, the question of criminality has gained increasing attention. On Monday, members of the Committee weighed in on the question of criminal referrals. Vice chair Liz Cheney and members Adam Schiff and Elaine Luria noted that a decision had not yet been made on whether to issue such referrals. They were responding to an earlier comment by the chairman.
We think the perception of disagreement here is a bit overblown. As two of the authors point out in a guide to the hearings, we favor referrals but simply providing a roadmap of all the evidence would also be acceptable. And Chairman Thompson also said yesterday that the Committee intended to provide all of its evidence to prosecutors after the hearings. No one disagreed with him on that point.
In the meantime, we will continue to summarize the most important evidence for the most likely crimes to be prosecuted as it emerges on a hearing-by-hearing basis. The committee will continue to march through the next steps of the seven-part conspiracy at its next hearing on Thursday, where we will hear about the various forms of pressure Trump applied to Vice President Pence to break the law.
We will continue to update our charts after that and future hearings. The current editions are provided below and as a separate PDF.