The US House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack on the Capitol Monday summarized its final report and unanimously issued four criminal referrals against former President Donald Trump to the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The criminal referrals are primarily symbolic, as the DOJ can choose whether or not to pursue the charges included, but are a historic moment for the US Congress.
Following a recap of the committee’s prior ten public hearings, the committee issued four criminal referrals against Trump to the DOJ based on federal criminal statutes. The committee submitted these criminal referrals based on the gravity, severity and centrality of the actor to the offense. On all four criminal referrals, the committee believes there is more than sufficient evidence to charge Trump.
The first charge, obstruction of an official proceeding, is located under 18 USC § 1512(c). The second charge is conspiracy to defraud the US, and the committee alleged that Trump entered into formal and informal agreements to impair, obstruct and defeat the certification of the 2020 election results. The charge is located under 18 USC § 371. The third, conspiracy to make a false statement, is located under 18 USC §§ 371 and 1001. The fourth, inciting, assisting, aiding or comforting an insurrection, is located under 18 USC § 2383.
The committee made clear that they do not believe that these are the only possible federal crimes that may have been committed in the time leading up to and during the Capitol riot. There may yet be additional charges uncovered and brought by the DOJ. Additional referrals are also included in the committee’s final report, including for actors such as attorney Dr. John Eastmann. Four US House representatives were also referred to the House Ethics Committee for sanctions, including Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Scott Perry (R-PA).
The recap at the outset of committee’s public meeting organized evidence uncovered over the course of the committee’s nearly year-and-a-half long session into several clear categories. Members then spoke to each of those categories, summarizing the evidence presented both during the public hearings, through written evidence and in video evidence from both January 6, 2021 and committee depositions.
The committee’s full report, describing the referrals and the evidence supporting them, will be released to the public later this week. Included in the report will be the full un-redacted reports of all of the witnesses that appeared before the committee during the course of their investigation.