January 6 committee considers criminal charges against Donald Trump, reports say

Panel member says there is 'sufficient evidence' to charge the former president

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The January 6 committee will consider a vote on charges against former president Donald Trump — including insurrection — when it holds what could be its final meeting on Monday, US media reported.

The committee will vote to recommend that Mr Trump be prosecuted for obstructing a government proceeding and conspiracy to commit fraud against the US, Politico first reported.

Adam Schiff, a US Representative who serves on the committee, told CNN on Sunday that there is “sufficient evidence” to charge the former president.

“I think that the evidence is there that Donald Trump committed criminal offences in connection with his efforts to overturn the [2020 presidential] election,” Mr Schiff said on State of the Union.

Mr Schiff did not confirm which charges the committee would refer to the Justice Department, but he did confirm that the panel would vote on the referrals and its overall report on Monday.

No one in connection to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol has been charged with insurrection.

“I realise that statute hasn't been used a long time, but then when have we had a president essentially incite and attack in his own government?” Mr Schiff said.

“I don't want to telegraph too much what we're considering but … I will say that I think the president has violated multiple criminal laws, and I think you have to be treated like any other American who breaks the law.”

Mr Trump responded on Truth Social by repeating his familiar refrain of calling the committee a hoax and denounced them for not investigating his fraud claims.

Mr Trump was impeached on the incitement of insurrection last year after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol while elected officials were certifying the election results.

The Senate fell nine votes short — 57 to 43 — of the two-thirds needed to convict him.

The committee is also considering referring some members of the House of Representatives who were involved with the insurrection, Bloomberg reported.

The Justice Department is not compelled to consider Congressional referrals, meaning any made by the committee on Monday will mainly be symbolic.

Updated: December 23, 2022, 4:26 AM
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