Jan. 6 panel to release criminal referrals Monday
The committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold its final event on Monday, during which it will release publicly its list of criminal referrals and vote to publish its final report two days later.
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters Tuesday that the committee has escalated its timeline for a public-facing event that will cap its more than yearlong investigation.
“We looked at the schedule, and it appears we can complete our work a little bit before that. So why not get it to the public as quick as we can,” he said.
Thompson said the panel has not finalized the referrals but is considering “five or six categories,” with the committee flagging behavior for entities such as the Justice Department, the House Ethics Committee and professional associations including bar associations.
“Some referrals go one place. Some go another,” he said.
While the committee’s final meeting was set to be Dec. 21, the panel will instead release its final report that day.
The criminal referrals are expected to walk through what laws the committee alleges were violated in the plot leading up to the attack by a group that could include former President Trump, White House leaders like chief of staff Mark Meadows, and attorneys advising Trump like Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ attorney Trump weighed installing as attorney general to forward his baseless claims into voter fraud, may also be on the list.
It would be up to the Justice Department to determine whether it wishes to pursue any prosecution based on the committee’s recommendations.
The panel has hinted the GOP lawmakers who rebuffed its subpoenas could be referred to the House Ethics Committee, often criticized for failing to do more aggressive policing of its members.
Still, it may be the only option for the panel to address the subpoenas that were ignored by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Reps. Scott Perry (Pa.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (Ala.).
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), one of the Jan. 6 panel’s members, previously said the constitution “makes it clear that Congress doesn’t hold members of Congress accountable in the judiciary or other places in the government.”
The panel could also make referrals to bar associations for the numerous lawyers that aided Trump in challenging the outcome of the 2020 election, with some already facing penalties for making false claims in court about baseless allegations of voter fraud.
Giuliani earlier this month took the stand before the District of Columbia Bar in a disciplinary hearing before its Board on Professional Responsibility that could result in the loss of his law license. Giuliani has already had his New York law license suspended, which he is appealing.
Clark is likewise facing disciplinary action before the board.
And Sidney Powell, another attorney for the Trump campaign, is facing the loss of her law license in Texas.
Updated at 4:07 p.m.
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