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Jan. 6 Committee Refers Trump for Charges

Government

Representative Bennie Thompson, center, speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022. | Image by Al Drago/Getty Images

The House January 6 Select Committee announced on Monday that it would recommend the Department of Justice criminally prosecute former President Donald Trump.

The committee, formed in a nearly party-line vote and composed of seven Democrats and two outcast Republicans, will issue four criminal referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ) after holding weeks of televised hearings earlier in 2022. Those charges include obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the federal government, conspiracy to make a false statement, and inciting, assisting, and comforting an insurrection.

However, the referrals will not directly result in any charges against Trump. The DOJ is conducting its own investigation, and Attorney General Merrick Garland will have the final say on whether the former president will face criminal charges.

The House Committee has simply recommended to the DOJ that charges should be pressed.

“Accountability can only be found in the criminal justice system,” committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MA) said. “We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice and that the agencies and institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information we’ve provided to aid their work.”

Thompson continued, “For those of you who have followed this committee’s work, I hope we have helped make clear that there’s a broader kind of accountability. Accountability to all of you: the American people.”

The committee’s official report can be found here. ***ATTACH PDF***

“The evidence has led to an overriding and straightforward conclusion: The central cause of Jan. 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the report states. “None of the events of Jan. 6th would have happened without him.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice chair of the committee, said, “Every president in our history has defended this orderly transfer of authority, except one.”

The Trump campaign released a statement: “The January 6th un-Select Committee held show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history. This Kangaroo court has been nothing more than a vanity project that insults Americans’ intelligence and makes a mockery of our democracy.”

On Monday morning, Trump shared a video on Truth Social from January 6 that was allegedly deleted by Twitter soon after it was originally posted on the social media site. While the House Committee alleges Trump “incited” an insurrection, he can be seen in the video urging his supporters to “go home.”

“We had an election that was stolen from us … but you have to go home now,” he said. “We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt.”

He continued, “This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace, so go home.”

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