In a hearing on Monday, the Jan. 6 House committee unanimously voted to refer former President Donald Trump on criminal charges, alleging that he engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the election, according to The Associated Press.
What does this mean? The Washington Post reported that this referral from the committee has no legal weight, but is the first time that Congress has made a move with these implications for a former president.
- The committee accused Trump of four charges: inciting insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an act of Congress and making false statements, according to NBC News.
- The New York Times added that these potential charges leave the situation in the hands of the U.S. Justice Department, which can decide whether or not to pursue the charges against Trump. If charged and convicted, these sentences could result in a lengthy prison sentence for the former president.
- However, Axios stated that the DOJ is under no obligation to follow up with these charges.
Details: The committee, made up of seven Democrats and four Republicans, all voted in favor of these referrals, per The Associated Press.
- The panel also voted to refer four Republican Congress members — Kevin McCarthy (California), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Scott Perry (Pennsylvania), and Andy Biggs (Arizona) — to the House Ethics Committee for failing to comply with the panel’s subpoenas, NPR stated.
- The first part of the committee’s final Jan. 6 report is publicly available and can be accessed here. Chairman Bennie G. Thompson said that most of the “non-sensitive” materials will be available by the end of 2022, per The Washington Post.