Select Committee refers Trump to Justice Dept for criminal prosecution

Today, members of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack voted on criminal referrals to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against former President Donald Trump, former Trump lawyer John Eastman, “and others,” and unanimously voted to affirm their final report.

The committee also referred four members of Congress to the House ethics committee for refusing to comply with lawful subpoenas.

The Justice Department is already investigating the actions of the former president and many of his co-conspirators regarding the assault on the Capitol, efforts to use fake electors and other schemes to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors are compiling and evaluating evidence from scores of subpoenas, grand jury testimony, and witness interviews as they explore potential charges under the guidance of Special Counsel Jack Smith.

The House of Representatives created the bipartisan panel to investigate the violent attack on the Capitol by a mob of terrorists incited to riot by Trump as part of an elaborate scheme to essentially stage a coup d’etat to keep the election loser in power.

At the final public meeting of the committee, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said the evidence shows law enforcement officers “saved lives and our democracy” that day, and that Trump proved “he is unfit to hold any office.”

“The evidence presented by the bi-partisan January 6th Committee leaves no doubt that Donald Trump engaged in conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, obstructed Congress from an official proceeding (the certification of the election), engaged in conspiracy to make false statements, and incited, assisted, and aided an insurrection,” said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen.

“The committee did a masterful job laying out mountains of evidence obtained by non-partisan career prosecutors, intelligence officers, and national security experts based on more than one hundred subpoenas, over one thousand interviews and depositions, and more than 140,000 documents,” said Gilbert, who is also co-chair of the Not Above the Law coalition. “The facts are in, and Trump and his allies must be held accountable.”

“The Select Committee has completed its work. Now the DOJ must bring criminal charges, and the House Ethics Committee must do the same.

“The committee also released key policy recommendations to help prevent another attack on our country by safeguarding our elections and democratic process. We urge Congress and the White House to adopt these policies without delay.”

“The domestic terrorist attack on our Capitol on January 6 was planned and executed with encouragement from the highest levels of our government,” said Ben Jealous, president of People For the American Way.

“The most striking fact is that all this evidence comes almost entirely from Republicans. The evidence that has emerged did not come from Democrats or opponents of Donald Trump,” said Chairman Bennie Thompson. “Instead, look at who has written and testified and produced evidence. Who has that been? Aides who worked loyally for Donald Trump for years. Republican state officials and legislators. Republican electors. The Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. Political professionals who worked at the highest levels of the Trump Campaign. Trump appointees who served in the most senior positions in the Justice Department. President Trump’s staff and closest advisors in the White House. Members of President Trump’s family. His own White House counsel.”

In addition to referring four criminal charges against former president Donald Trump and others to the Justice Department, the Jan. 6 committee on Monday referred four members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for failing to comply with the investigative committee’s subpoenas: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).

“We understand the gravity of each and every referral we are making today, just as we understand the magnitude of the crime against democracy that we described in our report, but we have gone where the facts in the law lead us, and inescapably they lead us here,” said Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.).

In its final report, the Jan. 6 committee said it found no evidence President Donald Trump sought to protect the Capitol when his supporters attacked it that day.

“Some have suggested that President Trump gave an order to have 10,000 troops ready for January 6th,” the committee wrote in its final report. “The Select Committee found no evidence of this. In fact, President Trump’s Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller directly refuted this when he testified under oath.”

The committee has repeatedly pointed to Trump not only being negligent on Jan. 6, but perhaps approving of the violence that day (or at least perceiving some advantage in it). The final report adds more evidence on that front, specifically that:

Longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks texted a campaign aide during the riot that, on Jan. 4 and 5, she’d said Trump should preemptively call on those attending his speech on the Ellipse to be peaceful: “I suggested it several times Monday and Tuesday and he refused.” The request, which she did not make to Trump personally, fell upon deaf ears.

Hicks also testified that White House lawyer Eric Herschmann made a similar request — in his case, to Trump himself.

So according to the report, Trump’s refusal to call for peace not only lasted hours into the riot — it also began earlier than previously had been known, in the days leading up to it.

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