On Monday, the House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the January 6th, 2021 Capitol riot voted to recommend the Department of Justice criminally prosecute former President Donald Trump.
The committee voted 9-0.
According to Fox News, the first referral recommended by the committee is for Trump’s obstruction an official proceeding of Congress. The committee will also refer Trump to DOJ for conspiracy to defraud the federal government, making a false statement and inciting, assisting, or aiding and comforting an insurrection.
In what is expected to be its final meeting on Monday, the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6 said it will formally ask the DOJ to pursue charges after a nearly 18-month probe into the former president’s involvement in the activities that lead to the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
The committee’s unprecedented criminal referral holds no official legal weight, and a final determination in whether to pursue the charges will be up to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department.
At Monday’s meeting, the committee’s members, seven Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans, each presented a portion of their findings against Trump before taking the vote to issue criminal referrals.
The committee will also refer four Republican members of Congress to the House Committee on Ethics for defying the committee’s subpoenas. One of the Republicans who defied their subpoena was then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.)
The committee also subpoenaed:
- Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
- Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
- Scott Perry, R-Pa.
- Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
According to The Hill, It’s unclear if the Ethics panel will launch an investigation based on the select committee’s new recommendations. Unlike most other standing committees, membership on the Ethics panel is evenly divided between the parties. And the committee strives — at least rhetorically — to avoid the divisive partisan politicking that practically defines some of the other panels.
Yet with just weeks left in the 117th Congress, there’s a small and closing window for the committee to launch any new probes while Democrats are still in the House majority. And it’s unlikely that a GOP-led Ethics Committee would take the remarkable step of investigating the role of sitting Republicans in an event as polarizing as the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.