January 6 Committee To Vote On Three Criminal Referrals Against Trump — Including Insurrection
The January 6 committee is expected to vote on whether to urge the Department of Justice to pursue at least three criminal charges—including insurrection—against former President Donald Trump on Monday.
Other suspected charges that the committee will recommend include obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the United States. This vote would wrap up an investigation that has spanned over a year. It is unclear as to whether the panel will recommend other charges to the DOJ. The DOJ, meanwhile, is under no requirement to pursue criminal referrals from Congress.
According to Politico, the panel’s final report, expected to be released Monday, cites a U.S. District Court’s February ruling, in which the judge said that the evidence suggested Trump gathered the January 6 crowd and then instructed the rioters to march on the Capitol: “The President’s January 6 Rally Speech can reasonably be viewed as a call for collective action…It is at least plausible to infer that, when [Trump] called on rally-goers to march to the Capitol, the President did so with the goal of disrupting lawmakers’ efforts to certify the Electoral College votes.”
The report also apparently references Trump’s second impeachment trial, in which the Senate issued 57 votes in favor of convicting him on a charge of “incitement of insurrection.” The committee’s report also states that in order to violate the insurrection statute, the former president only needed to provide “aid or comfort” to them, rather than an explicit agreement.
On Friday, Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump, rebuked the panel’s reported plans: “The January 6th un-Select Committee held show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history.” He added, “This Kangaroo court has been nothing more than a Hollywood executive’s vanity documentary project that insults Americans’ intelligence and makes a mockery of our democracy.”
“The gravest offense in constitutional terms is the attempt to overthrow a presidential election and bypass the constitutional order,” committee member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said last week. “Subsidiary to all of that are a whole host of statutory offenses, which support the gravity and magnitude of that violent assault on America.”
Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters that the House select committee was also considering “five or six” categories of referrals to outside entities, like bar associations.
Last week committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said, “If we do make referrals, we want to be very careful about how we do them. But I think we’re all certainly in agreement that there is evidence of criminality here. And we want to make sure that the Justice Department is aware of that.”