Jan. 6 committee to vote on at least three criminal referrals targeting Trump: reports

The Jan. 6 select committee is reportedly planning to vote on at least three criminal referrals targeting former President Trump on Monday, a significant step from the panel as it nears the end of its year-plus investigation.

Multiple outlets reported on Friday that the committee will vote to recommend the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against Trump for insurrection, obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

A spokesperson for the select committee declined to comment when reached by The Hill.

The committee is working to wrap up its probe and release its findings before the end of this year, when Republicans are slated to take control of the House and dissolve the panel.

The referrals would be a notable step but also largely symbolic, as the Justice Department is not required to consider referrals that come from congressional committees. The agency is also conducting its own, separate investigation into the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

Sources told Politico that the committee’s argument for the referral involving the insurrection charge cites a ruling made by U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta in February, which says the language Trump used incited the violence that took place on Jan. 6. It also reportedly points to the 57 senators who voted to convict Trump of incitement of insurrection following the Capitol riot.

Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung criticized the Jan. 6 committee in a statement to The Hill.

“The January 6th un-Select Committee held show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history,” he said. “This Kangaroo court has been nothing more than a Hollywood executive’s vanity documentary project that insults Americans’ intelligence and makes a mockery of our democracy.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the committee, previously said the panel would vote on referrals during its business meeting on Monday, its final public presentation. He told reporters that the committee was considering “five or six categories” for the recommendations.

Those could include the Justice Department, as well as the House Ethics Committee and professional organizations, including bar associations. The committee has pointed out behavior that would come within the scope of those groups.

“We’re focused on key players and we’re focused on key players where there is sufficient evidence or abundant evidence that they committed crimes, and we’re focused on crimes that go right to the heart of the Constitutional order such that the Congress can’t remain silent,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a constitutional law expert who also serves on the select committee, said on Monday.

The five Republican lawmakers who ignored subpoenas from the committee could be included in that “key players” description. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Reps. Scott Perry (Pa.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (Ala.) all rebuffed requests they received from the committee.

Raskin also previously indicated five lawmakers who ignored subpoenas from the committee could be referred to the House Ethics Committee, based on a constitutional statute.

“The Speech or Debate Clause makes it clear that Congress doesn’t hold members of Congress accountable in the judiciary or other places in the government,” Raskin said.

“Members of Congress are only held accountable through Article One in their own chambers for their actions,” he added.