The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol building and efforts by members of the Trump campaign to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election will deliver a final report of their findings on December 21.
The release date of the report, which will be around 102 weeks after the attack took place, was announced by January 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) on Wednesday.
Details on how the committee will present its report to the American people remain minimal, although Thompson has suggested to reporters that a public, “formal presentation” will accompany the report.
“There’ll be some form of public presentation, we haven’t decided exactly what that’ll be,” Thompson said.
In addition to releasing the report, the committee will also announce the individuals that it will refer to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal charges, based on the panel’s year-and-a-half long investigation. Whom those referrals will target, and for what reasons, is currently unknown, and members of the committee have said they are planning to meet this Sunday to finalize the list.
“We want to make sure no one slips through the cracks. We want to make sure that the key organizers and movers of this attack don’t escape the scrutiny of the justice system,” committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) said.
According to several sources who spoke to CNN, the committee is considering referrals for at least five people, including former President Donald Trump, who, during a rally on the morning of January 6, falsely alleged that he had lost the 2020 presidential election due to fraud and urged a mob of his loyalists to descend upon the Capitol.
Trump engaged in this incendiary rhetoric knowing that some of his supporters were armed, the committee discovered over the course of the investigation.
In addition to a possible criminal referral for Trump (based on his speech and other actions he took to stay in the White House), the committee is considering referrals for:
- Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff;
- Trump election lawyer John Eastman, who helped craft the plan to use fake Electoral College electors to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election;
- Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer who, along with other Trump campaign officials, coordinated the fake electors plot;
- and former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump had wanted to install as head of the department so that it would pursue unfounded claims of election fraud.
Criminal referrals by the January 6 committee have had mixed results so far. Steve Bannon, for example, a former Trump administration official who remained loyal to the president and who defied a subpoena to appear before the committee, was charged and prosecuted by the Justice Department following a criminal referral from the committee; however, the DOJ refused to charge Meadows on the same basis that the committee had referred Bannon for.
But the committee still considers the referral process to be an important one. Although largely symbolic (given that the DOJ has already opened an investigation into January 6), the committee still believes that their referrals could serve as a means to “document their views for the record” to the department, CNN reported.