The House January 6 Committee voted unanimously on Monday to refer former President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for four criminal charges, including insurrection, bringing to a head their investigation into the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol nearly two years after the attack took place.
Noting the ample volume of evidence they have collected in their 18- month-long investigation, the committee voted to refer Trump for four counts: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress; conspiracy to defraud the U.S.; conspiracy to make a false statement, or knowingly and willingly lying to the federal government; and insurrection.
“The whole purpose and obvious effect of Trump’s scheme were to obstruct influence and impede this official proceeding: The central moment for the lawful transfer of power in the United States,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland).
The DOJ referrals aren’t legally binding, and it is now up to DOJ officials whether or not to act on the charges. Still, the referrals are a damnation of Trump and his role in the attack, and the referrals, hearings and impeachment will likely define Trump and his presidency for decades to come.
Raskin added that the group is referring four House GOP lawmakers who refused to comply with the group’s subpoenas to the House Ethics Committee, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Representatives Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania).
The January 6 committee used decisive language in presenting a summary of its findings during the hearing.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said that the evidence shows that Trump is “unfit for any office.” Highlighting what she called the “most shameful” of the evidence found by the committee, Cheney spoke of how Trump sat in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching live footage of the attack as it was unfolding, ignoring pleas from family and advisers to instruct his loyalists to stop.
“Evidence of this can be seen in the testimony of President Trump’s own White House counsel and several other White House witnesses,” said Cheney. “No man who would behave that way, at that moment in time, can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again. He is unfit for any office.”
The group released an over 150-page executive summary of its findings on Monday, which includes details like Trump’s wish to personally go to the Capitol to overturn the presidential election and more information about testimonies featured in previous hearings. Fifteen of the report’s 17 findings center on Trump’s role in the attack.
“That evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him,” the report says.
A full, final report on the January 6 committee’s findings on the attack is expected on Wednesday.
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