Jan. 6 panel urges Trump prosecution with criminal referral

Jan. 6: The House committee asked the Justice Department Monday to bring criminal charges against Donald Trump over the 2021 Capitol Insurrection. This called for accountability for Trump and “a time for reflection and reckoning.”

The panel, which included seven Democrats and two Republicans, recommended criminal charges against Trump and his associates for their involvement in a broad-based pressure campaign to reverse Trump’s 2020 election loss. A lengthy summary of the final report was also published by the panel, which found that Trump participated in a “multiple conspiracy” to stop voters’ will.

The committee recommended that Trump be prosecuted by the Justice Department at Monday’s final meeting. They alleged Trump violated four criminal statutes in the lead-up to and the actual insurrection. They recommend that Trump be charged with aiding an insurrection, a charge intended to hold him accountable for the actions of his supporters at the Capitol on that fateful day.

The committee also voted for John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who devised dubious legal maneuvers to keep Trump in power, to be prosecuted on two of the same statutes that Trump: conspiracy to embezzle the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding.


Although a criminal referral is symbolic and Trump’s case will be decided by the Justice Department, it is still a significant end to an investigation that was almost exclusively focused from the beginning.

Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) stated that Trump had “broken the faith” of people when they cast their ballots in a democratic election and that criminal referrals could be a “roadmap for justice” through the use of the committee’s work.

Thompson stated, “I believe that nearly two years later this is still an time of reflections and reckoning.” “If we want to survive as a nation based on laws and democracy, then this cannot happen again.”

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was the panel’s Republican Vice Chairwoman. She stated in her opening remarks, that “except one” president has supported the orderly transfer power.

The final report will also be approved by the committee with a 9-0 vote. It will contain interview transcripts as well as legislative recommendations. On Wednesday, the full report will be available.

The 154-page summary of the report, which was made public at the end of the hearing, revealed that Trump had engaged in a “multipart conspiracy” to win the election. Although the majority of the main findings of the report are not new, they represent one of the most shocking portraits of an American president in recent times. It details in great detail Trump’s attempt to reverse his defeat and what lawmakers claim is his direct responsibility in the uprising of his supporters.

Since its inception in July 2021, the panel has completed more than 1,000 interviews and held 10 closely-watched public hearings. It also collected more than one million documents. The members feel empowered to declare that Trump, a Republican is responsible for the attack on Capitol Hill by his supporters nearly two years ago.

After beating up police and injuring many, the Jan.6 rioters stormed Capitol and disrupted the certification of Biden’s presidential election victory. This was echoing Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud, and sent lawmakers running for their lives.

After weeks of Trump’s attempts to reverse his defeat, the attack was a result. The committee’s multiple public hearings detailed the campaign and it was again laid out by lawmakers at Monday’s meeting. Many of Trump’s former aides gave testimony about the unprecedented pressure he exerted on the states, federal officials, and Pence to oppose Biden’s victory. The committee also detailed how Trump got the crowd to rile up at a rally on that morning, and then didn’t stop his supporters for many hours while he watched the violence unfold live on television.

At the meeting, the panel presented new evidence including an interview with Hope Hicks, a long-time Trump aide. She recalled a conversation she had around that time with Trump. He told her that no one would be concerned about his legacy if it was lost.

Hicks stated to the committee that Trump had told her that winning is all that matters.

Trump’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment. However, the ex-president blasted members of the committee on Sunday as “thugs” and “scoundrels” because he continues to falsely claim his 2020 loss.

Although a “criminal referral” has no legal standing, it is an authoritative statement made by the committee. It also adds political pressure to Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Jack Smith, special counsel Jack Smith who are conducting an investigation into Trump’s actions on Jan. 6.

The committee recommended that Trump be charged with aiding an insurrection. It stated in its summary that Trump “was directly responsible” for summoning the violent mob. He also refused repeated requests from his aides not to condemn the rioters and encourage them to flee.

The committee charges Trump with obstruction of an official proceeding. He repeatedly badgered Vice President Mike Pence, and other officials to stop the certification of the election results. The panel stated that Trump’s repeated lies about the election, and his efforts to reverse the results, could lead to him being charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The panel recommends that the final charge be charged as conspiracy to make false statements. This refers to Trump’s and his associates’ scheme to present slates of fake voters in battleground states won over by President Joe Biden.

The committee did not approve the charges of seditious conspiracy. This is the same allegation Justice Department prosecutors used to target a small group of rioters from far-right groups such as the Oath Keepers or Proud Boys.

Thompson stated after the hearing that the seditious conspiracies charge was “something the committee couldn’t agree on.”

After Senate Republicans stopped the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection, the panel was created in the summer 2021. When that effort failed, the Democratic-controlled House formed an investigative committee of its own.

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of some of his nominations, Kevin McCarthy, the California House Republican Leader, decided to withdraw from the event. This left two anti-Trump Republicans in Congress — Reps. Liz Cheney from Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) — with an opportunity to join seven Democrats.