Rep. Liz Cheney said it's 'absolutely clear' to the January 6 committee that Trump knew what he was doing was 'unlawful' but he did it anyway

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  • The January 6 committee is split on if it should refer Trump for criminal charges, the NYT reported.

  • Rep. Liz Cheney said the committee's evidence shows Trump's actions were "unlawful."

  • Trump has repeatedly denied responsibility for inciting the Capitol riot.

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said the January 6 committee has not decided if it will refer former President Donald Trump for criminal charges, but that it's "clear" what he was doing was "unlawful."

Cheney, the vice-chair of the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, spoke to CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday. Tapper asked if the committee had enough evidence to refer Trump to the Justice Department for criminal charges.

"We have not made a decision about referrals on the committee," Cheney began. "I think that it is absolutely the case, it's absolutely clear that what President Trump was doing, that what a number of people around him were doing, that they knew it was unlawful. They did it anyway."

Cheney then cited a ruling by a federal judge last month that found Trump "likely" obstructed Congress and broke federal law in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

"I think what we have seen is a massive and well organized and well-planned effort that used multiple tools to try and overturn an election," Cheney said.

Trump's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Trump has repeatedly defended his actions on January 6 and denied any responsibility for inciting the Capitol riot. He has continued to falsely claim that the election was stolen.

Cheney's interview with CNN came after The New York Times reported Sunday that the January 6 committee had enough evidence for a criminal referral, but that members were split on whether or not to send one.

Some committee members were worried a criminal referral would politicize the investigation into the insurrection, The Times reported.

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