The committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol made multiple criminal referrals to the Justice Department against former President Donald Trump. The committee said Trump is criminally liable for his role in the riot and the attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.
The committee said Trump should be charged with four crimes:
- conspiracy to defraud the United States,
- conspiracy to make a false statement,
- US criminal code Title 18 section 2383 – incite, assist or aid or comfort an insurrection; and,
- obstructing an official proceeding.
The maximum combined sentence would be 25 years in prison if the former president were indicted and found guilty.
“The President has an affirmative and primary constitutional duty to act to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Nothing could be a greater betrayal of this duty than to assist in insurrection against the constitutional order,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said.
Each of the referrals revolve around a legal theory created by attorney John Eastman who proposed to have former Vice President Mike Pence reject electors or send them back to state legislatures during the electoral certification. Donald Trump pressured Pence to do it.
The committee also said Trump summoned the angry mob and was therefore responsible for the violence that day.
“Donald Trump broke that faith, lost the 2020 election and knew it. But he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme to overturn the results and blocked the transfer of power,” Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said.
Chairman Thompson said the committee will lay out recommendations on how to prevent another Jan. 6 in its final report, which is expected to be released Wednesday.
The committee also referred four members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee to be sanctioned for failing to comply with a subpoena. The Republican members include Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Calif., who is running for House Speaker, Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio, Rep. Scott Perry, Pa., and Rep. Andy Biggs, Ariz.