Former U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy, the House Democrats’ lead investigator on their politically-motivated January 6 committee, hit on all the party’s prescribed talking points in an interview with The New York Times.
According to Heaphy, the protest at the U.S. Capitol that got out of hand was the result of a sophisticated effort to counter the 2020 election, a “multipart plan to prevent the transfer of power.”
What’s more, Heaphy told the Times that the Biden Justice Department needs to charge a number of former President Donald Trump’s allies, beginning with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — Meadows did not appear before the one-sided, Soviet-style committee, and while Giuliani did, he pleaded the Fifth often and revealed little.
“‘I didn’t fully appreciate sometimes how fragile democracy is. But for the courage of a handful of people who elevated principle over politics, against their own self-interest, we could have had a different outcome,” Heaphy said. “We could have had the will of the people subverted. That’s frightening, and we can’t take it for granted.”
Is our “democracy” really so fragile that it can be subverted by the likes of Jacob Chansley, the self-styled “QAnon shaman” who stormed the Capitol wearing a fur headdress with horns?
The Democrats’ top investigator told the newspaper that the investigation quickly took on the feel of a criminal probe.
“When we started to see intentional conduct, specific steps that appear to be designed to disrupt the joint session of Congress, that’s where it starts to sound criminal. The whole key for the special counsel is intent,” Heaphy said. “The more evidence that we saw of the president’s intent, and others working with him, to take steps to prevent the transfer of power from happening, it started to feel more and more like possible criminal conduct.”
He would then name some of Trump’s aides that the DOJ should consider charging.
“There is a cast of characters. I think you could look at [Rudolph] Giuliani, and Mark Meadows. I think that the Justice Department has to look very closely at whether there was an agreement or conspiracy,” Heaphy said. “There’s a lot of evidence that we didn’t get. Mr. Meadows didn’t come and talk to us,” hee. We did interview Mr. Giuliani, but he asserted attorney-client privilege a lot. John Eastman cited the Fifth Amendment to everything.”
Lawyers John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark were also named as possible DOJ targets.
“A criminal grand jury investigation arguably overrules or takes precedence over an attorney-client privilege assertion or executive privilege. The grand jury may be able to get answers that we didn’t get, and I hope that they do,” Heaphy told The Times. “How broad the conspiracy extends, I don’t know. But it’s potentially broader than even the people that we mentioned.”
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee referred Eastman and Clark for criminal prosecution, along with Giuliani and Kenneth Chesebro.
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