The January 6 committee investigating the Capitol attack will meet publicly on Monday to vote on a long-anticipated outcome of their deliberations: Whether to refer former president Donald Trump to the Department of Justice for criminal charges.
The answer appears to be “yes”, and you don’t have to wait to learn what’s on the table. According to multiple (AP) reports (CNN) published Friday night (NYT), the committee is gearing up to refer Trump for obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States. And in something of a surprise development, the committee is adding “insurrection” to the package. Trump’s allies are also on the hook: According to the Times, “the panel is likely to consider referring charges against John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who was an architect of Mr. Trump’s efforts to invalidate his electoral defeat.”
The referrals don’t automatically mean Attorney General Merrick Garland will pursue the committee’s recommendations. Federal prosecutors are already in the thick of their own extensive probe. And according to CNN, the committee is preparing to issue a slew of “five to six other categories of referrals, such as ethics referrals to the House Ethics Committee, bar discipline referrals and campaign finance referrals.”
But the vote will provide something of an exclamation point at the end of a series of riveting public hearings across 2022 that presented Trump as the chief enabler of a mob intent on halting the peaceful transfer of power, and the mastermind of a scheme that dated to before the 2020 election.
Still looking for a great holiday stocking-stuffer for that special someone? The panel is slated to release its final report on Wednesday.