Multiple sources claim the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot plan to issue a criminal referral list with former President Donald Trump at the “center” of it.
The committee has indicated it intends to release a final report following a nearly 18-month “investigation” on December 21st.
The panel has suggested the report would focus predominantly on Trump, rather than the failures of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
CNN reports that they intend to issue these criminal referrals with Trump at the “center” of it all.
“The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack is weighing criminal referrals for former President Donald Trump and a number of his closest allies,” they write.
There has been no indication of who the other ‘allies’ might be.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) December 8, 2022
January 6 Panel to Make Criminal Referral Against Trump
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CNN reporter Jamie Gangel expanded on their reporting in an appearance on Wednesday’s “Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer.
“The committee is not being shy, Wolf,” she alleged. “Donald Trump is going to be on that criminal referral list – one of my sources said front and center. The real question is, who else is going to be on that list?”
Gangel noted that the list will likely be very narrow and “deliberate” with who they decide should face criminal prosecution.
“They are going to make referrals for people about crimes that they think they really have strong, substantive evidence to hand over to DOJ,” she added.
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, also appearing on the panel with Blitzer, opined that the criminal referrals will likely “be focusing on obstruction of Congress … and a conspiracy to defraud the United States of a free and fair election.”
That’s Been the Plan All Along
While it would surely delight his fiercest critics, a criminal referral by the January 6 committee against Trump would hardly come as a surprise to most observers.
This is a panel, after all, designed exclusively to draw a conclusion that Trump committed a crime and to prevent him from running for President again.
Breaking: Following @FDRLST reporting that Adam Schiff and his staff doctored a text message between Jim Jordan and former WH chief of staff Mark Meadows, the House Jan. 6 committee has just admitted that it did, in fact, doctor the text message.https://t.co/78aRNyOib7
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 15, 2021
Liz Cheney, one of the more vocal Trump critics on the panel, spoke about criminal referrals for Trump over 5 months ago. This has been the plan all along.
The committee drew a conclusion and then formulated their ‘facts’ to wind up at that conclusion. No investigative authority would ever be taken seriously when taking such biased action.
Liz Cheney tells ABC it’s possible the January 6 committee makes a criminal referral recommending to the DOJ that Donald Trump be prosecuted pic.twitter.com/jgNN3GGd2K
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 3, 2022
Unfortunately for the panel, all of it is for show.
As CNN notes, criminal referrals “would largely be symbolic in nature.”
“The committee lacks prosecutorial powers, and the Justice Department does not need a referral from Congress to investigate crimes as it has its own criminal investigations into the Capitol attack ongoing,” they explain.
1) The committee can (and I expect they will) conclude crimes were committed in their final report. Calling it a ‘referral,’ which is not an actual recognized process, is not necessary to conclude crimes were committed.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 8, 2022
CNN also suggests that criminal referrals are more about the panel members feeling their work has some value.
“Committee members see criminal referrals as a critical part of their work, putting their views on the record in order to complete their investigation – not as a way to pressure DOJ,” they add.
They’re going to make the referrals essentially so they don’t feel like they’ve wasted their time. Priceless.
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