Crime and Safety

Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Announces Criminal Referrals

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion of the U.S. Capitol will make criminal referrals to the Justice Department as it wraps up its probe and looks to publish a final report by the end of the year, the panel’s chairman said Tuesday.

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi told reporters that the committee has decided to issue the referrals recommending criminal prosecution.

However, he did not disclose who the targets will be or whether former President Donald Trump will be among them.

“At this point, there’ll be a separate document coming from me to DOJ,” Thompson told reporters at the Capitol.

The decision of the panel — made up of seven Democrats and two fiercely anti-Trump Republicans — to issue referrals is not unexpected.

One of those two Republicans — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice chairwoman of the committee — has for months been hinting at sending the Justice Department criminal referrals based on the evidence the nine-member panel has gathered.

The committee was formed on July 1, 2021, about six months after Trump supporters entered the Capitol following a protest of the November 2020 election.

Thompson said the committee was meeting later Tuesday to discuss the details.

“The Committee has determined that referrals to outside entities should be considered as a final part of its work,” a representative of the committee told The Associated Press. “The committee will make decisions about specifics in the days ahead.”

While Congress can send criminal referrals to the Justice Department, it is ultimately up to federal prosecutors whether to pursue charges.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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