A source close to the investigation tells us that the House select committee will announce on January 6, 2021, that it will refer at least three criminal charges against former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department: insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government.
According to the source, the committee may recommend additional charges against Trump in its final recommendations. On Monday, a committee will meet to discuss its referral recommendations, and the following report will detail the investigation that led to those suggestions.
The referrals from the House could have an effect, but it’s unclear what that effect would be because the special counsel investigation at the Department of Justice is already looking into Trump in detail as part of their investigation into January 6.
The panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, told reporters that in addition to criminal referrals, the panel could issue five or six other types of referrals, including ethics referrals to the House Ethics Committee, bar discipline referrals, and campaign finance referrals.
The obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the federal government charging recommendations under consideration is consistent with the allegations made by the select committee against Trump and his elections attorney John Eastman in a prior court proceeding seeking Eastman’s emails.
According to the court case, a judge sided with the House and ruled that it had the right to see Eastman’s emails regarding his work on the 2020 election campaign for Trump because he and Trump were conspiring to defraud the United States and obstruct Congress.
The committee was discussing the allegations, and the Guardian was the first to report on it. Trump spokesman Steven Cheung released a statement calling the committee a “Kangaroo court” that conducted “show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history.”
Member of the committee and Representative Zoe Lofgren said the panel has “been very careful in crafting these recommendations and tethering them to the facts that we’ve uncovered” in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday.
The California Democrat said on “The Lead” that his committee spent “a huge amount of time not just on what the code sections are and the bottom line recommendation, but the facts,” adding, “I think it’s really important when we discuss whatever it is we are going to do and we’ll have a vote on it, that people understand the facts behind the conclusions we reach.”
Criminal statutes for obstructing a congressional proceeding and, in some cases, for seditious conspiracy, have been the primary focus of the Justice Department’s prosecution of those responsible for the attack on the US Capitol.
Thompson says the committee’s final meeting will be held in public on Monday, and the full report will be made public on Wednesday. According to the Mississippi Democrat, the panel will vote to approve its final report and announce criminal referrals to the Justice Department on Monday, but the public will not see the final report until Wednesday.
Several of Trump’s closest associates, including Eastman, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, and Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have reportedly been under consideration for criminal referrals by the panel, as reported by CNN.
Although names January 6: Committee to refer multiple criminal accusations against Trump to DOJwere being considered, further debate was needed before any were settled upon, a second source warned at the time. New details have been added to this report.
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