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Congressman suggests that Trump and Jan. 6 associates will plead the fifth in order to avoid being hanged for treason

A Democratic congressman suggested on Tuesday that Trump advisers who take the Fifth Amendment while testifying before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol are doing so to avoid the death penalty.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) made the remarks when the House Rules Committee was debating whether to report former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) via YouTube video screenshot at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TPJ57Gemls

Perlmutter started his remarks by mentioning Donald Trump’s inaugural oath of office in 2017.

Later, the career lawyer referenced federal legislation for the charge of treason.

“18 USC 115, which is why I think that we’re going to see the Fifth Amendment being played, ‘whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levees war against them or adheres to their enemies giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere is guilty of treason and shall suffer death.’ This is a death penalty statute! ‘Or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000 and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States,” he said.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) via YouTube video screenshot at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TPJ57Gemls

“Just the memos that have been disclosed to this point, in my opinion, are treasonous. We danced around this a lot and we talk about obstructing Congress and things like that, but this was an effort to have a coup, to overthrow the country, to break the pledge of allegiance we make to this country and to the constitution,” he explained.

The documents that Donald Trump and his White House officials most want to keep hidden from the House select committee are revealed in court records.

According to USA Today, Trump has claimed executive privilege over 39 pages of the 136 pages of documents set to be released Friday by the National Archives and Records Administration, which include handwritten notes about Jan. 6, appointments for White House visitors, and switchboard logs that show calls between Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.

Image of Mike Pence via Flickr/Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, please visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2I

“These records all relate to the events on or about January 6, and may assist the Select Committee’s investigation into that day, including what was occurring at the White House immediately before, during and after the January 6 attack,” wrote Justice Department lawyers in a court filing for the National Archives and archivist David Ferriero.

Although the former president’s filings reveal the contours of what congressional investigators want to see, a federal appeals court temporarily delayed the release of those documents to allow Trump’s challenge to play out, and oral arguments are set for Nov. 30, the former president’s filings reveal the contours of what congressional investigators want to see.

Image of Donald Trump via Flickr/Michael Vadon is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

“Of the 763 pages in which Trump asserted privilege, 629 are talking points prepared for the press secretary and 43 include presidential schedules, appointments, activity logs, call logs, among other documents, according to the filing from the National Archives,” USA Today reported. “The National Archives identified nearly 1,600 pages of records that fit the committee’s request, with thousands more yet to be reviewed, according to the agency. Trump sought to keep nearly half the pages confidential, but the Justice Department replied that they are crucial to the investigation.”

The committee has requested any information relating to Jan. 6 and coordinated efforts to postpone the certification of the electoral vote, including calendar entries, films, and photographs, and the requests encompass Trump’s public pronouncements about the 2020 election and its validity.

Image of Capitol riot via Flickr/Ruperto Miller is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, please visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2I

The records will be released in four batches, the first of which will be released at the end of last week, the second and third batches on Nov. 26, and the fourth batch is currently being reviewed.

Daily presidential diaries, schedules, activity logs, and first drafts of speeches are among the first batch of documents, while the second batch includes talking points and other documents from the White House press secretary, and a “much smaller” tranche contains handwritten notes, a draft of a speech for the “Save America March,” and a draft of an executive order concerning election integrity.

President Donald Trump speaking at the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Voice of America/Wikipedia/Public Domain

A draft proclamation honoring Capitol police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, who died in the attack, and communication from outside the White House about a possible lawsuit by the US against numerous states won by Joe Biden are among the third batch of documents.

 



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