Cheney says it’s possible Jan. 6 panel will make criminal referral against Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that it’s possible the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol will make a criminal referral against former President Trump.

During the interview on ABC’s “This Week,” the network’s chief Washington correspondent, Jonathan Karl, asked Cheney — who serves as the vice chairwoman of the committee — whether the panel’s hearings have demonstrated that Trump should be prosecuted.

“Ultimately, the Justice Department will decide that,” Cheney responded. “I think we may well as a committee have a view on that. And if you just think about it from the perspective of, what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat, when the Congress is under threat?”

“It’s just very chilling. And I think certainly we will continue to present to the American people what we’ve found,” she added.

When pressed by Karl, Cheney said that it is possible the committee will officially make a criminal referral. She also noted that the Department of Justice doesn’t need to wait for the panel to make a decision in order for it to make its own criminal referral.

Last month, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), sparked criticism after saying that the panel would not make a criminal referral, claiming that it’s “not our job.” Thompson clarified soon after making his comments that the decision to make a referral remained a possibility.

Cheney’s comments follow ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony last week to the panel about the former president’s behavior during the attack on the Capitol. Cheney told Karl in a previously released portion of the interview that she wholeheartedly believes in Hutchinson’s credibility.

“I am absolutely confident in her credibility. I’m confident in her testimony,” Cheney said. “I think that what Cassidy Hutchinson did was an unbelievable example of bravery and of courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure.”

Karl also asked Cheney if she’s concerned about the possibility of Trump running for president in 2024 against President Biden amid a Justice Department prosecutor. Cheney answered that she was more worried about the possibility of people who hold responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack not being held accountable and the “constitutional threat” that could impose on the country.

“I have greater concern about what it would mean if people weren’t held accountable for what’s happened here,” the Republican congresswoman said. “I think it’s a much graver constitutional threat if a president can engage in these kinds of activities and the majority of the president’s party looks away or we as a country decide, ‘You know, we’re not actually going to take out constitutional obligation seriously.’ I think that’s a much more serious threat.”

Tags Bennie Thompson Donald Trump House committee investigating Jan. 6 Jan. 6 Capitol attack Jonathan Karl Liz Cheney

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