Jan. 6 committee refers Trump to DOJ for criminal charges
Criminal referrals on multiple charges were approved unanimously.
The House select committee examining the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol has held its final public meeting.
The panel voted to approve criminal referrals for former President Donald Trump regarding his failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Here's how the story developed:
- Trump responds to the Jan. 6 committee's criminal referrals
- Committee releases 160-page executive summary of final report
- Who is John Eastman?
- Panel refers four Republican lawmakers to the House Committee on Ethics
- Committee votes to approve referrals, final report
- Committee approves four criminal referrals for Trump
Trump responds to the Jan. 6 committee's criminal referrals
Trump, in response to the criminal referrals, continued his criticism that the Jan. 6 committee is partisan and politically-motived.
"These folks don't get it that when they come after me, the people who love freedom rally around me," Trump wrote in a Truth Social statement on Monday. "It strengthens me. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger."
Trump also repeated his familiar claim that he had "pushed for 20,000 troops to prevent violence on Jan 6" -- an assertion the committee contradicted in the executive summary of its final report.
"The select committee found no evidence of this," the panel said in the summary. "In fact, President Trump's own acting secretary of defense Christopher Miller directly refuted this when he testified under oath."
Trump's campaign also released a statement, calling the committee's action "a mockery of our democracy."
“The January 6th Unselect Committee held show trials by Never Trump partisans who are a stain on this country’s history," the campaign's statement read.
Committee releases 160-page executive summary of final report
The House Jan. 6 committee, after its final public meeting on Monday, released a sweeping executive summary to explain its findings. In it, members point to Trump as the main instigator behind the Capitol attack.
"That evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him," the summary said.
Highlights from the executive summary can be read here.
The committee is expected to release a broader, more comprehensive final report later this week.
Who is John Eastman?
Attorney John Eastman was named with Trump as among those the committee is recommending for criminal charges to the Justice Department. Members described how Trump turned to Eastman as other allies asked for him to accept the election loss.
Eastman, the committee said, drafted a six-step plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject legitimate electors during the certification of the election on Jan. 6, even though Eastman admitted in advance that Pence could not lawfully do so.
Former Trump White House attorney Eric Herschmann, in a taped deposition with committee members, said he told Eastman his plan was "completely crazy," would "cause riots in the streets" and that he was "out of [his] effin' mind."
But even after the Capitol attack, Eastman pursued the plot, the committee said. Herschmann said he told Eastman: "'Now I'm going to give you the best free legal advice you're getting in your life: Get a great effing criminal defense lawyer. You're going to need it.'"
Soon after, Eastman emailed Rudy Giuliani to say, "I've decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works," according to evidence obtained by the committee.
Panel refers four Republican lawmakers to the House Committee on Ethics
The Jan. 6 committee is also making referrals for four Republican lawmakers to the House Committee on Ethics for their failure to comply with subpoenas.
The members being referred, according to the executive summary of the committee's report, are House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, Scott Perry and Andy Biggs.
"We asked multiple members of Congress to speak with us about issues critical to our understanding of this attack on the 2020 election, and our system of constitutional democracy. None agreed to provide that essential information," Rep. Jamie Raskin said. "As a result, we took the significant step of issuing them subpoenas based on the volume of information particular members possessed about one or more parts of President Trump's plans to overturn the election. None of the subpoenaed members complied."