The House Jan. 6 select committee plans to use its final meeting on Monday to refer Donald Trump, among others, to the Justice Department for conduct linked to the former president’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election.
As it prepares to release its massive investigative report, the panel is expected to use its meeting, announced at 1 p.m., to take several decisive steps. These include outlining an executive summary of its findings and legislative recommendations, voting to formally adopt the report, and then voting to issue criminal and civil referrals.
The Guardian first reported that the committee was due to meet over the weekend to finalize the referral, which in Trump’s case focused on obstruction of official proceedings of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The referral to Trump marks a notable moment for the precedent-shattering investigation, which has looked at the former president’s efforts to reverse the 2020 election defeat at any cost that culminated in the Capitol attack last year.
In addition to Trump, the select committee is likely to move forward with criminal referrals against top former White House advisers, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and to make civilian referrals to the House Ethics Committee for GOP members of Congress and They are likely to recommend disagreement. Trump lawyer.
Criminal referrals are suggestions only. Congress has no ability to compel prosecutions by the Justice Department, although the department sharply ramped up its investigation in Jan. 6 and called one of top Trump advisers to testify before at least two grand juries in Washington. The parade has been convened.
But the expected referrals — essentially letters to the Justice Department urging charges — presented a moment of high political drama at Monday’s final business meeting of the select committee, which has run a supercharged investigative staff run by several former federal prosecutors.
According to sources familiar with its work, the panel has largely concluded that the Capitol attack was a conspiracy. It concluded that Trump oversaw a “political” plan for his vice president, Mike Pence, to refuse to certify the election for Biden, and a “coup d’état” to pressure Congress if Pence refused. ” plan.
For investigators from the three main teams — the Gold Team probing the Trump White House and Republican congressmen, the Red Team probing the organizers of the January 6 rally, and the Purple Team probing the extremist groups that stormed the Capitol — Main Suspects trumped, for months.
The former president’s willingness to illegally circumvent certification was evident before Jan. 6, investigators believe, when Trump agreed to a fraudulent election conspiracy that would send states with votes for him to Biden. Change the votes of the Electoral College, a refusal for many to close the attack as it happened.
Although Trump didn’t leave a paper trail that could incriminate him as evidence, his aides did. And although Trump deftly used the powers of the presidency to conduct investigations while in office, he found little of those powers once he was out of office.
As a result, the select committee was able to take testimony from hundreds of witnesses and thousands of documents, which investigators believe amounts to solid evidence of criminality, the sources said.
The panel is only expected to provide a top-level outline of its report on Monday, although the entirety of the eight-chapter document is set to be made public on Wednesday, and all statements will be released before the transcript is finished. year.
The final report – which will include an expanded executive summary of more than 100 pages – roughly tracks the select committee’s public hearings from the summer. Topics in the chapter include Trump’s fraudulent-electoral conspiracy, his illegal attempts to pressure Pence, and his inaction in the West Wing during the 187 minutes of the Capitol attack.
“We obviously want to complete the story for the American people,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin, a member of the select committee. “Everyone has come on this journey with us, and we want a satisfactory conclusion, so that people feel that Congress has done its job.”
The transcript and other evidence cited in the report will be uploaded, with some modifications, through the Office of Government Publications, another federal agency, in an effort to ensure that the House Republican majority in the next Congress cannot unilaterally delete the documents. .