Jan. 6 panel to urge charges against Trump for Capitol riot: report

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WASHINGTON – The House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot will vote next week to recommend the Justice Department pursue at least three criminal charges against former President Donald Trump over his actions in connection with the events of Jan. 6, 2021, Politico reported Friday.

The panel has scheduled a Monday business meeting, at which it will release the executive summary and parts of its final report on the violence by Trump supporters that interrupted congressional certification of the 2020 election result.

The report, according to Politico, proposes that Trump, 76, be charged with insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States government.

It is not clear whether additional charges against the former president will be considered or whether other Trump allies will also be referred to the DOJ for potential prosecution.

“We have made decisions that criminal referrals will happen,” Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters Dec. 6.

Donald Trump, seen at his rally before the Capitol riot, could face up to 35 years in prison if he is convicted of the three crimes.
AP
Rioters loyal to Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rioters loyal to Donald Trump rally at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
AP

Previous referrals for potential criminal charges have passed the select committee unanimously, and Monday’s vote is expected to be no different.

If convicted of all three crimes, Trump could face up to 35 years in prison and more than $500,000 in fines.

Insurrection carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine; obstruction carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and conspiracy convictions call for up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The vote will be largely symbolic, since the committee does not have the power to file charges and the Justice Department is already carrying out an investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

That probe is being led by special counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed to the post last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland days after Trump announced he would seek to regain the White House in 2024.

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