WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — The House committee probing the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol will issue criminal recommendations to the Justice Department upon completion of its investigation, and is expected to report by the end of the year. The panel submitted its report on Tuesday.
Democratic Representative Benny Thompson told reporters the commission has decided to recommend criminal action against several people, but declined to say who they are or whether former President Donald Trump would be among them.
“At this point, I will have a document for the department,” Thompson told reporters on Capitol Hill.
He said the commission would meet in the next few hours to discuss the details.
A commission spokesman told The Associated Press, “The commission has resolved that recommendations from outside bodies should be considered as the final part of its work.” “The commission will decide on specific aspects in the coming days.”
This decision is not unexpected. The commission’s vice chair, Liz Cheney, a Republican representative, has indicated for months that criminal recommendations will be made to the Justice Department in July 2021 based on evidence gathered by the nine-member panel since its creation.
Congress can send criminal referrals to the Justice Department, but it is up to federal prosecutors to decide whether to file charges. During this year, the commission has taken several members of Trump’s inner circle on remand for refusing to comply with subpoenas from the legislature. So far only one complaint for contempt of Congress has led to an indictment, in the case of Steven Bannon.
The panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans has sought to produce a comprehensive report on what lawmakers are calling an “astonishing betrayal” of Trump’s oath of office and an unprecedented effort by his supporters to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory. .
The commission held a series of public hearings in June with live and video testimony from Trump relatives, his White House aides and other allies. At the end of the previous hearing, the commission voted unanimously to subpoena Trump to testify under oath and produce documents. Trump responded by filing a lawsuit against the commission.
The commission will be disbanded at the end of the year and its members are not trying to get testimony from Trump. But criminal impunity, as Cheney and others have suggested, may be a more powerful closing argument.
Trump faces other legal troubles outside Capitol Hill, including an investigation into the possession of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.