Jan. 6 fallout set to spill into 2023 and 2024: The Note
Perhaps the biggest decision points now rest with the Department of Justice.
The TAKE with Rick Klein
The final words from the House Jan. 6 committee on Monday were stark and without precedent -- up to and including recommendations that former President Donald Trump face criminal prosecution.
But the work of unpacking what happened two years ago and what it continues to mean will spill well into next year and the next election cycle. In the words of Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., that makes for "strange and uncharted waters" that will churn inside Congress -- in GOP leadership and in the emerging campaign for president in 2024.
Perhaps the biggest decision points now rest with the Department of Justice. Sending criminal referrals for Trump and one of his attorneys carries no legal meaning but enormous moral and political significance, with the committee essentially putting prosecutors on notice.
The referral of four Republican House members to the ethics committee likewise will not result in any action by itself. But it's a precedent that will reverberate well into the next Congress, in part because one of the four is the likeliest next speaker of the House.
If anything, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's standing inside his conference might be enhanced by the way he's handled the Jan. 6 inquiry, for all that says about the majority he hopes to lead. McCarthy chose to not place his own members on the committee when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of his selections and then chose not to comply with the committee's subpoena.
McCarthy's strategy, in essence, was to wait the committee out and hope that interest in its subject matter fades. He wasn't alone or necessarily wrong in making the judgment that public interest would wane by now.
But Trump is a declared candidate for president who is still spreading the kinds of lies that contributed to the riot at the Capitol. The legal avenues remain wide open -- as do the political ones.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
A bombshell new report alleges that an incoming New York congressman apparently fabricated parts of his resume, creating uncertainty around his future.
An investigation by The New York Times found that major elements of Rep.-elect George Santos' story -- including work for Citigroup and Goldman Sachs and attendance at Baruch College and New York University -- didn't check out, according to statements from those organizations to the Times.
Baruch, NYU and Goldman Sachs likewise confirmed to ABC News that they have no record of Santos.
That same Times report also cited charges related to check fraud abroad, while Santos was in Brazil, according to police and court documents. Additionally, neither the Times nor ABC News could find IRS charity records for an animal rescue Santos claimed to have run as a 501(c)(3).
"George Santos represents the kind of progress that the Left is so threatened by - a gay, Latino, immigrant and Republican who won a Biden district in overwhelming fashion by showing everyday voters that there is a better option than the broken promises and failed policies of the Democratic Party," Joseph Murray, Santos' lawyer, said in a statement to ABC News, accusing the Times of a "smear" of Santos.
Santos' election night win, in which he flipped his Long Island seat red, helped the GOP secure its House majority. In a Republican-led chamber with razor thin margins, it is unclear if there will be efforts to punish Santos in light of the discrepancies in his background.
The likelihood of success of such efforts is murky at best: A 1960s push to block Adam Clayton Powell Jr. from his House seat failed after the Supreme Court weighed in.
The timing of the scrutiny around Santos could also impact the possibility of an election challenger. But the details coming just before the holidays means lawmakers may not have enough time to dig into them before the new Congress returns in January.
The TIP with Hannah Demissie
Democrats in Virginia's 4th Congressional District are coming together for a firehouse primary to decide their nominee for the special election in February to fill the seat of the late Rep. Donald McEachin.
Whomever wins the Democratic nomination will face off against Republican nominee Leon Benjamin Sr., who won through a GOP party canvas.
Despite the multiple candidates in the race for the Democratic primary, former gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan has emerged as one of two front-runners. She earned the endorsement of the state's entire Democratic congressional delegation, including Sen. Tim Kaine, who campaigned for her over the weekend.
McClellan's most formidable competitor will be fellow state Sen. Joseph D. Morrissey, a former lawyer, who has cast himself as the anti-establishment candidate. Morrissey blasted his party for holding the firehouse primary on a weekday rather than a weekend, saying during his candidacy announcement that it would disenfranchise voters.
"That's what the Democratic Party elites did. This decision that they made last night is the most anti-working class, anti-Democratic, anti-women's decision since the Byrd era," he said.
Voting in the district will take place from 6 a.m. E.T. until 7 p.m. E.T. across eight polling locations. The Democratic Party of Virginia said it would start counting ballots on Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m., which will be watched by representatives from each campaign and the media at party headquarters in Richmond.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. "Start Here" begins Tuesday morning with the latest on the House Jan. 6 committee's criminal referrals. ABC's Jonathan Karl leads us off. Then ABC's Mireya Villarreal discusses the Supreme Court's decision to temporarily freeze an order meant to end Title 42. And, Tom Reese of Religion News Service analyzes the Vatican's decision to defrock a pro-Trump priest. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
- The House Ways and Means Committee meets at 3 p.m. ET to consider Donald Trump's tax returns, which were obtained after a legal battle with the former president.
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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Wednesday for the latest.