January 6 committee ends meeting on criminal referrals

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The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection concluded its meeting on Sunday where members discussed criminal referrals, multiple sources told CNN.

The subcommittee tasked with investigating criminal referrals presented its recommendations to the full panel at a 1 p.m. ET virtual meeting, but it is unclear if those recommendations were officially adopted. A source described the meeting as “successful” but did not elaborate.

“We are as a subcommittee, several of us that were charged with making the recommendations about referrals, going to be making that recommendation to the full committee today,” panel member Rep. Adam Schiff said prior to the meeting on CBS “Face the Nation.” Members on the committee would then need to approve the recommendations.

The panel is weighing criminal referrals for former President Donald Trump and a number of other individuals, sources say, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, right wing lawyer John Eastman, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as CNN previously reported.

While the referrals would largely be symbolic in nature – as the Justice Department has already undertaken a sprawling investigation into the US Capitol attack and efforts to overturn the 2020 election – committee members have stressed that the move serves as a way to document their views for the record.

The decision has loomed large over the committee. Members of the panel have been in wide agreement that Trump and some of his closest allies have committed a crime when he pushed a conspiracy to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, as they’ve laid out in their hearings. But they have long been split over what exactly to do about it.

“We are in common agreement about what our approach should be. I’m not ready or authorized at this point to tell you what that is,” Schiff, a California Democrat, said. “I think we are all certainly in agreement that there is evidence of criminality here. And we want to make sure that the Justice Department is aware of that.

Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, told reporters Friday he expected to reach a decision on criminal referrals at Sunday’s virtual meeting. But Schiff reiterated on Sunday that the committee will wait to announce its decision until December 21, when it plans to present the rest of its report.

Schiff stressed his view on Sunday that criminal referrals from the committee make “an important statement, not a political one, but a statement about the evidence of an attack on the institutions for our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power that Congress – examining an attack on itself – is willing to report criminality.”

“So I think it’s an important decision in its own right if we go forward with it,” he said. “And one that the Department ought to give due consideration to.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

Sumber: www.cnn.com

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