'Prosecute Trump' Sign Appears Outside Trump Tower After Jan. 6 Hearing

Whether Donald Trump will be prosecuted over his role in the Capitol riot is becoming a pressing issue as the January 6 committee's hearings reveal damning information about the former president.

But while it's unclear whether the House committee's investigation will actually lead to an unprecedented prosecution of the former president, some are calling for the case to be advanced in such a direction.

The word "Prosecute" appeared next to the Trump Tower in New York City on Thursday, creating a juxtaposition of placards that together reads "Prosecute Trump."

The light installation is the work of the Not Above the Law Coalition, which projected the appeal for the former president to be prosecuted directly on his Manhattan landmark building on Thursday night.

Trump Tower Prosecute
Non-profit group Not Above the Law Coalition put up a sign that said "Prosecute" next to the Trump tower as the House hearings into the Capitol riot continue. Above, the "prosecute" light projection next to Trump Tower is seen in New York City on July 21, 2022. Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Not Above The Law Coalition

The Not Above the Law coalition is made up of more than 150 organizations—ranging from legal, national security, netroots, and others—committed to protecting democratic values. Among these, there is the non-profit organization Public Citizen, which has launched an online petition to prosecute Trump. "He lost. He knew. He lied," a banner at the top of the petition's page reads.

"After eight public hearings from the January 6th Committee, the evidence is clear. Donald Trump led a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results of the 2020 Election, which culminated in violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021," reads a statement on Public Citizen's website. "No president should be above the law. Donald Trump and his allies must be held accountable."

"Last night's hearing was crystal clear, it illustrated how the former president and his allies illegally pressured and instigated—and caused, at the end of the day—the insurrection," Lisa Gilbert, the executive vice-president of Public Citizen told Newsweek.

"The next phase is accountability," she added.

It's unclear how many people have signed up to ask for the former president to be prosecuted as the petition just went up online.

The organization wrote on Twitter: "Think Trump got the message when prosecute was plastered on Trump Tower?"

The initiative received support on social media.

"Hey DOJ, I think this note is for you," John Bonifaz, attorney and president of the non-profit organization Free Speech For People, wrote on Twitter while sharing images of the new installation next to the Trump Tower.

In the latest hearing of the Jan. 6 committee, evidence and testimony were brought forward to support that Trump was informed of the chaos unleashed at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and was repeatedly pleaded with by his advisors to ask his supporters to retreat and cease the violence.

And yet, the House panel declared that for 187 minutes Trump "chose not to act," ignoring aides, security experts, and family members.

"President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act," Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, who co-led the Thursday hearing with Democrat Elaine Luria, said.

"In the end, this is not, as it may appear, a story of inaction in a time of crisis, but instead it was the final action of Donald Trump's own plan to usurp the will of the American people and remain in power," said Luria, a Virginia congresswoman.

Trump is rumored to be running for office again in 2024, a move that could grant him the possibility to stop criminal charges against him in relation to the Capitol riot if successful, as sitting presidents cannot be prosecuted according to the Department of Justice.

Update 07/22/22, 10 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a comment from Public Citizen and to specify that the protest action involved Not Above the Law Coalition, a group composed of more than 150 organizations including Public Citizen.

Update 07/22/22, 2:30 p.m. ET: This article was updated to correct a quote from Lisa Gilbert.