MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Says ‘Criminal Charges Are the Only Possible Response’ to Trump (Video)

“Democracy itself is at stake,” Velshi says while discussing possible third indictment of ex-president

Ali Velshi on Donald Trump's Third Indictment

Guest-hosting MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” on Tuesday, Ali Velshi argued that if one believes the evidence against Donald Trump in the federal investigation of his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, then “the only possible response” is to charge him with crimes.

“Our democracy itself is at stake,” Velshi said.

Early Tuesday morning, Trump announced that he’d been informed by the U.S. Department of Justice that he is likely to face a third indictment. DoJ hasn’t made any such charges public yet, but Trump said that the target letter he received specifically referenced Special Counsel Jack Smith’s ongoing investigation into Jan. 6.

“The gravest crime that Donald Trump ever committed was to undermine democracy, the will of the people, by trying to overthrow a free and fair election. And today, we saw the first signs that justice may be coming for him,” Velshi said in his comment on the matter Tuesday night.

“Today we learned that the ex-president received a letter from the special counsel, Jack Smith, indicating that he is the target of a criminal investigation into efforts to interfere with the presidential election of 2020, leading to the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021,” Velshi continued.

Velshi noted the two previous indictments against Trump — the 37-count federal indictment related to his unlawful possession and handling of classified documents, and the indictment for business fraud in New York. And acknowledged that those cases might, for some people, not seem as serious as they are.

But, Velshi said, “there’s just no way for a reasonable person with elementary critical thinking skills to deny the seriousness of this case. This is about a real an existential threat to our nation. It’s about Donald Trump’s attempt and his continuing attempts to undermine and possibly end our democracy as we know it.”

Velshi then played several clips from the congressional investigation of Trump’s involvement in Jan. 6, including some particularly damning testimony. He concluded with a clip of Rep. Jamie Raskin arguing that just won’t be done if only “foot soldiers” are punished for Jan. 6 and not the “mastermind,” by which he meant Trump.

“That’s exactly what’s happened. The foot soldiers have gone to jail, and the masterminds and the ringleaders have, for the moment, had a pass,” Velshi said. “So here we are, seven months later, at a historic moment, with the Department of Justice poised to finally bring charges against the ex-president in the Jan. 6 case.”

“We’ve already seen and heard the evidence about Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the election and bring down our system of government. And if you believe that evidence then criminal charges are the only possible response because our democracy itself is at stake,” Velshi concluded.