Jan. 6 Committee Recommends Four Charges For Trump

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot recommended that the Department of Justice (DOJ) charge former President Donald Trump with four counts related to attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The committee unanimously voted to report that Trump should be charged with obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the government, conspiracy to make a false statement and inciting or assisting an insurrection. The committee’s move was first reported by NBC News. The recommendation does not carry force of law, and the DOJ is currently carrying out its own investigation.

“Building on his constant repetition of the ‘Big Lie,’ President Trump engaged in an unprecedented effort to obstruct the joint session on Jan. 6, the proceeding where his electoral loss would be certified by Congress,” Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff said. “This effort began in part in the states, which hold, count, and ultimately determine the winners of presidential elections. Many state officials were targeted by President Trump and his campaign.”

Committee members highlighted Trump’s attempts to pressure state and federal officials into investigating and claiming fraud, including Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and DOJ officials Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue, and Bill Barr. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is currently investigating Trump and his allies’ contacts with Raffensperger, and she subpoenaed Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham as part of the inquiry. (RELATED: Supreme Court Denies Lindsey Graham’s Request To Avoid Testifying)

The committee also recommended that the House Ethics Committee investigate Republican Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania for refusing to provide testimony despite receiving subpoenas. The committee, which is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, is unlikely to act on the reports before the end of the 117th Congress on Jan. 3, 2023.

“At the beginning of our investigation, we understood that tens of millions of Americans had been persuaded by President Trump that the 2020 election by overwhelming fraud. And we also knew this was flatly false. We knew that dozens of state and federal judges had addressed and resolved all manner of allegation about the election. Our legal system functioned as it should. But our president would not accept the outcome,” vice chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming said.

More than 900 people have been charged with crimes related to the Capitol riot. Although no government officials have been charged, federal agents seized cell phones belonging to Perry, former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, and attorney John Eastman, who advised Trump that Congress could overturn Electoral College slates.