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January 6th Select Committee to make criminal referrals

January 6th Select Committee to make criminal referrals

Surprise! Surprise! House Speaker Pelosi’s one-sided Select Committee has let it be known to the media that they are going to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department involving a number of individuals.  It was further leaked that one of those individuals would be former President Trump.

That is not shocking.  In fact, if the Committee did not send criminal referrals to the Justice Department, THAT would be shocking.  That was the plan from day one.  The carefully crafted “hearings” were nothing less than a months-long prosecution brief without the benefit of a defense perspective.  That is just dishonest regardless of the actions of the accused.

It should be noted that the report from the Committee is the final act in this Kabuki Theatre production by a committee that will cease to exist in less than one month – and GOP apostates Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger will return to private life.

To appreciate the situation, it is important to understand that the House is a POLITICAL body – not a law enforcement agency.  It cannot indict, try, convict and sentence anyone – although Congress once had a jail to incarcerate those they found in contempt.  I doubt that would pass constitutional muster these days.

Congress can only investigate — and if they feel they have uncovered criminal activity, they can only refer their information and opinion to the Department of Justice.  It is purely a political action – and in this case, compromised by the political bias of the Select Committee.

The referral does not mean that Attorney General Merrick Garland will act on it.  The House uses the referral process to make political points.  Many of the referrals die on the desk of the AG.  They are never pursued.  On the other hand, most of the previous referrals do not have the political implications or the public attention that these referrals will receive.

If Trump is among those referred for a criminal prosecution, that will make the case totally unique in American history.  Prosecuting a former President will not be popular.  It will divide the country.

Another obstacle to actual indictments from the DOJ is that much of the January 6th Committee information – what they erroneously call evidence – is not admissible in a court-of-law.  Making a case in the court-of-public-opinion is political and easy because the accused is denied constitutional rights – most fundamentally, the right of counsel and the right to mount a defense.  The right to call and cross-examine witnesses and present countervailing evidence.  None of that was present in the so-called “hearings.”

There is also another problem.  It will not be easy to find 12 jurors who are willing to convict a former President as a matter of principle.  Garland has to weigh heavily the prospect of losing in court.  Prosecutors do not indict if they think they will not win in court.  A failure could make the accused a political martyr.  

In some measure, we saw what happened when Democrats excoriated Trump in the court-of-public opinion with accusations of colluding with Russian meddling in the 2016 election, only to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller report that the political claims and accusations were unequivocally untrue.  

Twice Democrats abused the political process of impeachment to put Trump on trial in the Senate.  The primary purpose of impeachment is to have a President convicted by the Senate and removed from office.  That was not the purpose of the Trump impeachments.  The first lacked sufficient foundation, and the second was after he would be out of office – the primary purpose of impeachment.  Again, Democrats fell short because there was no chance that Trump would be convicted by the Senate.  Just more political chicanery on their part. 

Democrats argue that the Senate acquittal was pure politics.  But so were the impeachments.  

There will be a lot of calls from the political vigilantes in the press to hang the culprits after the Select Committee issues its highly biased prosecutorial brief.  I suspect, however, when the DOJ makes its judgments on the various cases, the vigilantes will be disappointed at the level of real legal prosecution … the number and nature of any real indictments … and ultimately, the number of actual indictments and convictions.

In many ways, the Select Committee is a sideshow.  All the serious investigation is already being carried out by the DOJ and other local prosecutors.  Their investigations are the only ones that count.   Furthermore, it is inappropriate to attempt to influence the outcome of an investigation.  While Congress can surely send criminal referrals to the DOJ, the Select Committee could be seen as applying undue influence.  Garland is likely to want to push back on that perception.

I am speaking specifically of the January 6th case.  I have previously opined that Trump could be in more legal trouble with the business cases – and his company has already been convicted of fraud – and the government documents case — where Trump seems to have no legal defense for his taking and retaining the documents.

Individual crimes may have been committed — and some folks may wind up with jail sentences.  It is not likely to be as extensive and harsh as Democrats and the left-wing are hoping and clamoring for.  The difference is between political propaganda in the court-of-public-opinion and the adjudication of real evidence in a court-of-law.

As a footnote: I would repeat my suggestion that the new GOP Speaker maintain the Select Committee and restaff it.  And he should not necessarily accept the Democrats appointed by the new Minority Leader.  Image the defense arguments … a different selection of witnesses… tough cross examination … and all that while the DOJ is figuring out what to do with the Pelosi Report.   Even Kabuki Theater can be entertaining.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Henry

    The committee is made up of communists and socialists

  2. EMMA


  3. Fank

    Yeah, let’s let all the convicted go sayeth the law n order crowd. Sigh. You already let all Trump’s convicted buddies, relatives, and racists go via pardons and what not

  4. Bubba Love

    The Globalist Cabal will order the puppet Democrat regime to arrest Trump and they will. At that time, the second American revolution will begin. I recommend that anyone who believes that America can’t be defeated to go talk to Vietnam Charlie.

    • Terrance Pardee

      Vietnam Charlie DID NOT WIN!!! US COMMUNIST DEMOCRAT politicians GAVE AWAY what was in fact, an American VICTORY. Just as they did in AFGHANISTAN, COMMUNIST DEMOCRATS would rather engineer a lost war than see President Gerald Ford or Trump re-elected.. Democrats. THE ENEMY WITHIN.

      • Frank stetson

        Nixon was a US Democrat?

        Thanks me pardee, ivthought he wasxa conservative but not a crook.

        • AC

          No surprise here from your megaphone. These points have all been made by you in previous posts.
          It’s always interesting hearing current events interpreted from your perspective. That’s the reason behind the search I initiated for my own personal edification and diversification. Understanding edification is where one looks for it and diversification one must will themselves into looking.
          If people who know me find I am a consumer of PBP blogs, they would wonder why bother. Because, I’d say, it pure curiosity and discovery while exploring outside the usual customary haunts.
          Some of your opinion pieces I relate to your nature, being who you are as a product of personality and geography. As well as life lived drenched in the politics of economics.
          Then, always the bane of your life has long been all things Democrat Party related. What a good country would our be, if only… the wrong headed liberals would grow a brain.
          Well, there are two sides, and usually more, interested enough for a fight on issues of the day. Each believes their insight is ground breaking, intelligent, and right thinking. Not one thinks a compromise fitting, as each perspective has mutually exclusive written all over it. That makes politics all in power gaining and retention worth the fight.
          Politics is now the national sport and everyone sees themself as a pundit.
          Days gone by it was baseball and every male dreamed of standing on the mound pitching a no-hitter or scoring only home runs.
          These days are different and delusional self perception has replaced dreams had were understood as just dreams.
          Today opinions are personal. One’s political persuasion in the hill that people will die on, by choice. And, it’s madness. So few adults are around that mitigating a toxic outcome from self centered bias claiming unprejudiced beliefs always. No one, not a person alive today is without prejudice’s negativity. To be otherwise is humanly impossible. Postmodern society as we live in now creates deniers, people who believe things as true fact . But, those things are not real nor true.
          Does anyone remember the term for believing in an untruth. Wishful thinking, wanting something to be true badly enough convinces a person that that thought is real and true. An entire constituency can believe a thing is real and true, when it’s not.
          As an individual who seeks independent political philosophy, it been my experience through these past 70 plus years, at least 60 observing politics play out both parties included. Those who call themselves Republican thought only good and true ideas. Theirs was the only thinking having a lock on truth.
          The Democrats in my life, as well as the many known from University training, state politics, and national association in study, provided thought processing congruent with my learning, considering answers to questions of philosophy from theorists less traditional.
          Therefore, I have a healthy skepticism for all opinions. To many come unsupported, save for the “anyone watching…. knows these are real” caveats as replications of research. It may be that research derived the pro ported intelligence , but giving one’s sources lends belief.

          • larry Horist

            AC … Everyone should have a hobby — especially in their declining years — and if PBP is yours … enjoy.

          • frank stetson

            hey Larry, do they pay you for this? nice hobby yourself, wish we could get some professionals around here. or at least someone who could support what they say without leaning on their resume as proof. it’s amazing that you consistently ding your most faithful readers, but that’s the Republican way: to shit where they eat. if one could have a discussion here without your gutter-trashing. OH, I know: he did it first, he’s obsesses, he’s third personing me, blah, blah, whine, whine, but can’t refute what AC says. Can you? So monkey boy just throws he feces at the bars of his pbp cage. sigh.

            sorry, coffee not kicked in, too many clouds, feelin cranky —— just like you, old man.

  5. frank stetson

    Wait, I thought the Dems was the cabal?

    Who’s on first?

    • AC

      Thanks for the sarcasm.
      But. like it’s said, takes one to know one. Rather, take one who thinks they know. The math adds up in my favor, referring to declining years. You outnumber me in birthdays celebrated by near a decades worth. By counting me out as a hobbyist in your opinion, other PBP participants with my senior status may take exception to your roundly dismissive judgments. Octogenarians, or close to, should show more concern.
      As you say, I don’t know you, but a whole lot about you has been recorded in print. Your reputation proceeds you. If you think you are not that person, then Democrats and Republicans are not like they were 70 or 80 years ago. Especially the Republicans, it is not now how it was 10 years back and compounded change 6 years ago.
      The number of years one is fortunate in accruing does cause changes to occur. People who stay physically and mentally active can maintain vitality in those pursuits, or believe they have not diminished in capacity for function,
      The probability is high, as for many people this happens, that what they once could be and do in an hour, now at 75 plus can take a whole day, or two. That you believe that’s not you, is consistent with the opinion you have on the subject of self relative to others No other person’s mental prowess and grasp of historical context for happenings centuries past being indicators of things present and future, is a match to yours. After all, your professional hats are numerous.
      Proficiency in each, economics, politics, justice and the law, conservatism, US History, philosophical trend changes in successive executive administrations, and that a short list. So, advancing age may be regarded as one’s declining years and that happening gives no pssses and does not show any respect fo person beliefs to the contrary.
      Gaslighting others is the pundits stock and trade. While self gaslighting that pundits can not escape has sanctimony written all over it, as as denial.
      For cynicism and skepticism early in life groomed your personal philosophy and constructed an iron clad opinion that serves in the present day. Social and cultural change, growth, and natural development in this century building on the last fueled exponential change through the decade we are in today. But, the old philosophy driven opinion got hats are so neatly hung on is long over due for an update, Old theories dating from pre-pandemic times and still generating prognostications for political outcomes, economic trends and conditions, public health conditions, and personal perspective shifts individuals make Pandemic related damage, primary and secondary effects have not and are not fully added into the equation when factoring relevant social- economic index data. People want the pandemic to be over and behind us forever, therefore. Out of mind. Conservatives did not take the true realities seriously as this pandemic presented for the entire world. Its impact runs derp in every aspect in people’s lives, although most of us will not see a direct connection between so called anomalous conditions and the entirety of the pandemic’s effects on everyday living.
      Studies, if being pursued, that take into consideration every aspect of our life touched or radically altered, when analyzed will give relevant data beneficial to society’s understanding truth’s’ significance. Investigative studies usually are spread over decades, sometimes. Details may not be known in our life time.
      Of course, this is my opinion’s reckoning from a perspective that in your view lacks cognitive integrity, being it is merely a hobby, in your perception.
      Be that as it may, you are free to possess whatever opinion you desire, as I am likewise free.
      The rub comes when opinions on issues strike political nerve which fires a reflex that turn’s personal. Since,, others difference in perspective is perceived as stupidity from another’s basic ignorance.
      There were a number of character identifiers picked from my reading PBP comments from your posts and information gleaned from written stories about your activities before relocating to Florida. Arrogance and pugnacious are two virtually leaping from the text. I will say, those descriptions resonated with the person found posting on PBP with So, there’ ‘tis.
      Go figure, ‘tis true more than a few people are like tigers who never lose their stripes. People, too, have character strips. I admit, I have my share embedded for life. Through your commentary writing including responses to reader reply entries those stripes you
      Show off. Perhaps, only appear right here and nowhere else and kept compartmented.

  6. My2Cents

    2 middle fingers and a big FU to the corrupt political witch hunters

  7. Darren

    I hope they listen to you Larry, you are correct!