WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. have unanimously voted on Monday to recommend to the Department of Justice (DOJ) that charges be brought against former President Donald Trump that not only could produce criminal liabilities, but also potentially result in his inability to hold public office ever again as well.
The House committee – comprised of seven Democrats and two Republican Trump critics – recommended four criminal referrals to the DOJ: insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, making a false statement to the federal government, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government. At this moment, the ball is now in prosecutors’ court as to whether or not they will act on the House’s recommendations and pursue a case against the 45th president.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MI), chairman of the committee, said that the yearlong investigation – including over 1,000 witnesses, 10 televised public hearings and more than 1 million documents – lead them to make this decision against Trump.
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“Accountability…can only be found in the criminal justice system,” he said. “We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice and that the agencies and the institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information that we provided to aid in their work.”
The panel also referred other unnamed individuals to the DOJ for potential charges as well.
Trump, true to form, issued a defiant post on this Truth Social platform responding to the House committee’s decision, claiming that the criminal referral would actually be a boon to his political career.
“These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me. It strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” Trump wrote. “Americans know that I pushed for 20,000 troops to prevent violence on Jan 6, and that I went on television and told everyone to go home.”
Trump, 76, went on to call his potential criminal prosecution a “partisan attempt” to cripple his 2024 campaign to re-take the White House.
“The people understand that the Democratic Bureau of Investigation, the DBI, are out to keep me from running for president because they know I’ll win and that this whole business of prosecuting me is just like impeachment was – a partisan attempt to sideline me and the Republican Party,” he wrote.
Thus far, Republican reaction to the news of the criminal referral against Trump have been muted, although Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – a regular foil of the former president – told reporters on Monday that, “The entire nation knows who is responsible for that day.”
However, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) came out strongly in Trump’s defense, calling the Democratic-led committee “unconstitutional and illegitimate.”