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Jan. 6 Committee Says It Will Make Criminal Referrals To The Justice Department

The House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol will make criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chairman, told reporters Tuesday that at least one person will be referred, while leaving open the possibility of more to come.

“We have made decisions on criminal referrals,” Thompson said.

The congressman didn’t elaborate about who, exactly, might face charges or which ones they could face. Thompson didn’t explicitly rule out the possibility of perjury charges, telling reporters, “That’s part of the discussion.”

Other potential charges could include conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) talks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17 in Washington.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) talks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17 in Washington.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) talks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 17 in Washington.

Additional criminal referrals are expected to be part of the discussion when the committee meets later Tuesday.

Asked if former President Donald Trump might be among those referred, Thompson told reporters, “Good try.”

The bipartisan panel expires at the end of the year, adding urgency to the group’s process. It’s highly unlikely that the incoming Republican-majority House will extend the committee’s charter.

In addition to any forthcoming criminal referrals, the committee is set to publish a separate final report on the insurrection that will also be provided to the Justice Department. Thompson said last month that there’s a “good possibility” of making the eight-part report public by Christmas.

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