“Jan. 6 Panel to Consider Criminal Referrals Against Trump and Allies in Final Session”


The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol plans on Monday to consider issuing criminal referrals against former President Donald J. Trump and his top allies during a final meeting as it prepares to release a voluminous report laying out its findings about the attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

The committee announced a business meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday during which members are expected to discuss the forthcoming report and recommendations for legislative changes, and to consider both criminal and civil referrals against individuals it has concluded broke laws or committed ethical violations.

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, said the panel was considering referrals to “five or six” different entities, including the Justice Department, the House Ethics Committee, the Federal Election Commission and bar associations. Such referrals, which the committee is slated to approve as it adopts its report, would not carry any legal weight or compel any action, but they would send a powerful signal that a congressional committee believes that the individuals cited committed crimes or other infractions.

In the case of Mr. Trump, an official finding that a former president should be prosecuted for violating the law would be a rare and unusual step for the legislative branch to take.

In addition to the former president, the panel is likely to consider referring some of his allies to the Justice Department, including John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who was an architect of Mr. Trump’s efforts to invalidate his electoral defeat. The committee has argued in court that Mr. Eastman most likely violated two federal laws for his role in the scheme, including obstructing an official act of Congress and defrauding the American public.

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