Trump could face criminal investigation over Capitol siege, says Cheney

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Guardian: Leading Republican Liz Cheney has suggested that Donald Trump could be criminally investigated for his role in provoking the siege on the US Capitol last month.

Speaking on Fox News yesterday, the third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives referenced the “massive criminal investigation” under way in the US, saying it would look at “everyone who was involved” and that “people will want to know what the president was doing”.

Her comments come as the Senate prepares to begin Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, with arguments set to commence on Tuesday. The former president is accused of inciting the Capitol insurrection, which left five people dead, the building looted and smashed, and Senators cowering behind furniture. And from MSN:

In extraordinary remarks on Fox News Sunday, Cheney made specific reference to the “massive criminal investigation” on the Capitol insurrection that is now sweeping the country. She said that the probe would cover “every aspect” of the events of 6 January and look at “everyone who was involved”.

But she reserved her most pointed words for Trump. “People will want to know what the president was doing,” she said. “They will want to know whether the tweet that he sent out calling Vice-President Mike Pence a coward while the attack was underway was a premeditated attempt to provoke violence.”

Cheney’s evoking of possible criminal action against the former president comes just two days before the start of his impeachment trial in the US senate for “incitement of insurrection”. Though she will not be participating as a juror at the trial – that role is performed by senators – her comments signaled the turmoil that the impending proceedings are causing in her party.

Cheney said Sunday she would not step down. “The oath I took to the constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment – it does not bend to partisanship or political pressure, and I will stand by that.”

But the swirl of criticism around her, coupled with her sharp reference to possible criminal consequences for Trump, point to how the former president continues to roil the Republican party, to the extent of threatening to tear it apart.

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