House Jan. 6 Panel Appoints Members to Review Criminal Referrals

(Bloomberg) -- The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol attack is pushing to complete its final report for release in early December, with unfinished business that includes whether to recommend criminal charges to prosecutors.

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“We’re looking at criminal and civil referrals for people who have broken the law and who may have escaped scrutiny,” Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, told reporters on Thursday.

Decisions also have to be made regarding what to do about members of Congress and others who defied panel subpoenas to testify. “We need to have a decision as to what we do with the members who did not recognize their subpoenas,” Thompson said.

Republicans who won control of the House in last week’s midterm elections are considered likely to disband the committee.

Kevin McCarthy, the leader-elect of the incoming majority, and likely Judiciary Committee chairman, Jim Jordan of Ohio, are among those who have disregarded the panel’s subpoenas. So, too, has former President Donald Trump, and others.

Thompson said that four members of the nine-member panel are leading the review on whether to refer any of the cases to the Justice Department with a recommendation that charges be sought. The four representatives are Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, and three Democrats, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and Zoe Lofgren and Adam Schiff of California. All are lawyers.

Referrals for potential prosecution or other actions made to the Justice Department or other agencies could be attached to the final report, which has eight chapters in its draft form, Thompson said.

The committee will hold a public meeting to formally approve the report, but no date has been set. The committee is facing an end-of-year sunset to its authority, and it is unlikely the incoming GOP House majority will renew its charter in January.

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