On Friday, during an appearance on MSNBC,” former Defense Secretary William Cohen claimed that if the Department of Justice did not indict Former President Donald Trump, it would only be because of political reasons.
Cohen referenced the evidence laid out during the January 6 committee hearing that was televised last week, but did not get into any specifics about what exactly Trump would be charged with. The former Sec-Def also said he understood that the DOJ may not want to appear partisan and that could play into any decision.
The January 6 hearings have been under intense scrutiny from the very beginning. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did not allow Republicans Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana to participate originally, which caused Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy to pull other members off of the committee.
The only Republicans currently on the committee are Liz Cheney from Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Cheney is currently polling 30 points behind her primary challenger, Harriet Hageman, an unheard-of number for an incumbent. Kinzinger is retiring from Congress after six terms. The unpopularity of these two Representatives within Republican circles only lends to the perception that the January 6 hearings are deeply partisan and unfairly controlled by the Democrat party.
Indeed, the fact that the Democrats used taxpayer funds to hire a television producer to put on the hearings lends further credence to the claims of partisanship. There have also been allegations of editing and selective presentation of evidence.
Cohen may think that the facts are very cut and dried, but the hearings themselves were not allowed to be adversarial and there was no opposing narrative that was allowed to be put forth under oath or cross-examination.
Trump is one of the most investigated people in United States history, and to date, he has not been indicted for any crime. That may change after the January 6 hearings, but you will be hard-pressed to find anyone on either side who is not viewing the proceedings through a deeply political lens.