US Capitol violence: Jan. 6 panel to vote on Trump criminal referrals

The House of Representatives committee probing last year’s deadly attack on the US Capitol will wrap up an 18-month investigation and vote on whether to recommend criminal charges against former president Donald Trump and some of his closest aides.

The panel will meet on Monday to unveil the findings of their investigation into the January 6 assault, which led to the death of at least five people.

The committee, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, has interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses and held public hearings into the Jan. 6 incident, where thousands of Trump supporters, some of them armed, attacked the Capitol building and ransacked the offices of lawmakers in an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

Trump falsely claimed that his 2020 election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden was the result of widespread fraud, and encouraged his supporters to try and overturn the results.

The select committee will decide whether or not to recommend that the Justice Department seek charges against Trump.

Those charges would be inciting an insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, and conspiracy to defraud the US government. The three charges reportedly being considered could result in prison time and a ban from public office for the former president

Trump is running for president in the 2024 election. The former president still wields considerable power within the Republican Party.

“We’re focused on key players,” Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democratic committee member, said at the Capitol last week.

“And we’re focused on key players where there is sufficient evidence or abundant evidence that they committed,” he added.

“I think that the evidence is there that Donald Trump committed criminal offenses in connection with his efforts to overturn the election,” Democratic committee member Adam Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, told CNN on Sunday.

The final report is due for release on Wednesday.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the House select committee, said last week that the panel agreed “that there is evidence of criminality here and we want to make sure that the Justice Department is aware of that.” He said they would refer at least one person to the department.

The House said early last month it believed Trump might have committed multiple felonies.

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