Former DOJ official says Trump’s reaction to the January 6 panel is starting to look like the makings of an insanity defense

Business Insider

Former DOJ official says Trump’s reaction to the January 6 panel is starting to look like the makings of an insanity defense

Cheryl Teh – October 17, 2022

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on September 3.Mary Altaffer/AP
  • The former DOJ official Neal Katyal commented on Donald Trump’s 14-page response to the DOJ.
  • Katyal said he did not think the response would help Trump unless he was trying to plead insanity.
  • He said Trump’s response showed “evidence” of an insanity plea.

Neal Katyal, a former Justice Department official, says former President Donald Trump’s written response to the House Capitol-riot panel’s intention to subpoena him looks like an insanity defense.

Katyal — a law professor and an Obama-era acting solicitor general — made an appearance on NBC on Sunday, three days after the House panel investigating January 6, 2021, unanimously voted to subpoena Trump. The subpoena will compel the former president to cooperate with the committee or be held in contempt of Congress and referred to the Justice Department for prosecution — much like Trump’s allies Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro

In response to the decision, Trump sent a document to the panel that started with the sentence, “THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 2020 WAS RIGGED AND STOLEN!” and contained multiple baseless claims of election fraud. It also included four photos of the crowd near the Washington Monument on January 6, 2021.

“Yeah, so, this is a 14-page screed, Jonathan, that’s very hard to follow. But it does seem to dig the hole in deeper for Donald Trump,” Katyal told the MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart.

“I can’t see it in any legal way helping him unless he is trying to go for the insanity defense, of which this paper seems, you know, to be some evidence of,” Katyal added.

Katyal also said he thought it was a “pretty fanciful” idea that Trump would just give in and testify to the panel because of the congressional subpoena.

“I mean, this is a man who took the Fifth Amendment more than 400 times the last time he was questioned under oath. And I doubt he’s suddenly become eager to testify,” Katyal said.

Katyal was referencing Trump’s deposition in August during New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the Trump Organization’s business practices, during which he pleaded the Fifth more than 440 times and answered only a question about what his name was.

Katyal added that he thought Attorney General Merrick Garland would indict Trump, as there’s overwhelming evidence to do so and “no contrition whatsoever” on Trump’s part.

A representative at Trump’s post-presidential press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.