January 6 Committee Criminally Refers Trump During Final Public Meeting 

December 19, 2022

During its final public meeting before its official adjournment, the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 insurrection on Monday announced it would make four criminal referrals of former President Trump to the Department of Justice for his role in the plot to overturn the 2020 Presidential election.

They included:

Obstruction of a criminal proceeding. In summoning the mob on January 6, 2021, Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said Trump hindered Congress in its duties to certify the Presidential election results. 

Conspiracy to defraud the United States. Raskin said Trump entered into agreements, formal and informal, with others to impair, obstruct and defeat the certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.

Conspiracy to make a false statement to the federal government. Raskin said Trump conspired with others to send slates of fake electors to Congress and the National Archives. 

Assisting or aiding in an insurrection—which includes to incite, assist, engage or give aid and comfort in any rebellion against the United States. 

The Committee then moved to send its full, final report—a culmination of a year-and-half’s investigative efforts based on more than 1,000 interviews, extensive videos and millions of documents—on to the full Congress. That report is expected to be made available to the public on Wednesday. 

Along with Trump, the Committee also criminally referred Trump elections attorney John Eastman, who was behind the fake slate of electors plan, for criminal referrals to the DOJ for obstruction of a criminal proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Raskin said others would be referred for these crimes as well. 

Raskin also said the Committee would be referring several members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for failure to comply with its subpoenas. He did not call out those members by name during the public meeting; however they are reportedly House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ).

In October, the Committee had voted unanimously to subpoena Trump for questioning. He did not comply. 

Trump announced back in November, one week after the midterm elections, that he was running for reelection in the 2024 Presidential race.

When asked for comment ahead of Monday’s meeting, a Trump campaign spokesperson shared a statement from Friday attacking the Committee, adding that the campaign would have more to say after the referrals were made public Monday.

On December 11, Committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) conceded that the referrals could end up being largely symbolic in nature. 

“I don’t think criminal referrals are pointless,” he said, adding, “The criminal referrals themselves aren’t necessarily something that is going to wake DOJ up to something they didn’t know before, but I do think it will be an important, symbolic thing that the Committee can do. Even more than symbolic. Just very clear that Congress thinks, you know, a crime has been committed here or the DOJ should investigate it.”

On November 18, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed veteran career prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate whether criminal charges should be filed against Trump for, among other allegations, his role in January 6.

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