Saturday March 25, 2023

US Capitol probe panel will make criminal referrals: chairman

December 07, 2022

WASHINGTON: The House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump plans to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, the committee chairman said on Tuesday.

The House panel cannot file criminal charges but can make recommendations to the Justice Department, which recently appointed a special counsel to look into Trump´s role in the January 6, 2021 assault on Congress and his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

“We have made decisions on criminal referrals,” Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, told CNN and other US media outlets. Thompson did not identify any of the individuals who could be subject to criminal referral by the committee, which plans to meet later Tuesday.

Among the potential charges believed to be under consideration are obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, perjury and witness tampering. Trump, who announced plans last month to run for president again in 2024, was subpoenaed by the House committee but has declined to testify. The panel, which has interviewed dozens of witnesses and held several public hearings, is expected to release its report in the next few weeks.