(NewsNation) — The Jan. 6 hearings being held in the House have been decried as “political theater” by the GOP, and while there are some strong allegations being made by some of those testifying, the question in many viewers’ minds is whether or not any actual charges could come out of the proceedings.
To understand the answer, a distinction first must be drawn between “hard” and “soft” crimes. For those who were inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, creating havoc, injuring police officers and destroying property, those are “hard” crimes, which are not the purview of the committee. Those fall under the Department of Justice, which has already made 840 arrests, filed more than 1,000 charges and had 305 guilty pleas as a result.
The “soft” charges which could come from the hearings focus on what was happening in the White House. Were there people actively strategizing to prevent the counting of the electoral votes? Were they trying to plan out interference with Congress’ work?
The committee has already conducted more than 1,000 interviews in search of any evidence of “soft” crimes, and if the members find sufficient cause, they will give those to the Department of Justice for prosecution. The DOJ has already asked for some transcripts as part of its investigation.
Going forward, the committee plans to delve more deeply and directly into whether there were crimes committed in the White House. The next two hearings are on Monday and Wednesday of next week, but not in prime time.