The January 6 Select Committee on Monday held its final meeting and also issued a documentary described as the “Introductory Material to the Final Report of the Select Committee.”
In both, the Committee voted to make criminal referrals for former President Trump and several others. Criminal referrals have no real power — they are essentially recommendations that the Justice Department pursue prosecutions, and in Trump’s case, there is already a special counsel doing exactly that.
But Trump does become the first president ever to be referred by a Congressional body for a criminal prosecution, per NBC News.
Trump was referred for four charges: Insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and conspiracy to make a false statement and “incite,” “assist” or “aid or comfort” an insurrection.
In addition, John Eastman, an attorney who assisted Trump after the election, was referred for two charges.
According to NCBC, those charges are impeding an official proceeding of the United States government and conspiring to defraud the United States.
In addition, four members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) were referred to the House Ethics Committee for ignoring subpoenas for the committee.
For Trump, White House adviser Steve Bannon has already been indicted, convicted, and sentenced to four months in prison for ignoring such subpoenas.
Others, such as Rudy Giuliani, Jeffrey Clark, and Mark Meadows, did not receive referrals.
“We understand the gravity of each and every referral we are making today, just as we understand the magnitude of the crime against democracy that we describe in our report,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, a member of the committee, said Monday. “But we have gone where the facts and the law lead us, and inescapably they lead us here.”
In addition, in the report, the Committee determined that Trump’s actions of January 6 were premeditated.
“President Trump’s decision to declare victory falsely on election night and, unlawfully, to call for the vote counting to stop, was not a spontaneous decision. It was premeditated. The Committee has assembled a range of evidence of Trump’s preplanning for a false declaration of victory,” the report said.
The introductory report is not to be confused with the final report, which is expected to arrive sometime in the near future.
Some highlights from the report:
The Committee noted that hundreds of participants in the January 6 attack have pled guilty or been convicted, and several of them have noted that declared that they were inspired by the former president to go to Washington that day and participate.
It also noted that numerous members of the former president’s inner circle had acknowledged that Trump’s claims were not true.
“Our hearings featured a number of members of President Trump’s inner circle refuting his fraud claims and testifying that the election was not in fact stolen,” the Committee said. “In all, the Committee displayed the testimony of more than four dozen Republicans— by far the majority of witnesses in our hearings—including two of President Trump’s former Attorneys General, his former White House Counsel, numerous members of his White House staff, and the highest-ranking members of his 2020 election campaign, including his campaign manager and his campaign general counsel.”
The Committee ultimately reached 17 key findings in its investigation:
Trump “purposely disseminated false allegations of fraud” between the election and January 6, both to overturn the election and to solicit campaign contributions for himself.
Trump “refused to accept the lawful result of the 2020 election,” even though his team had lost nearly every election lawsuit.
Trump “corruptly pressured” then-Vice President Mike Pence to set aside the rightful electoral votes on January 6.
The former president “sought to corrupt the U.S. Department of Justice” by attempting to get them to intervene on his behalf, including by attempting to make Jeffrey Clark the Acting Attorney General.
-Trump also attempted to pressure state officials to overturn the election.
-The ex-president also “oversaw an effort to obtain and transmit false electoral certificates to Congress and the National Archives.”
-Trump also placed pressure on members of Congress in assisting his efforts.
-Trump “purposely verified false information filed in Federal court.”
-The former president, based on that false information about the election, “summoned tens of thousands of supporters to Washington for January 6th.”
-Trump tweeted in condemnation of Pence while the riot was in progress.
-Also while the January 6 riot was in progress, “refused repeated requests over a multiple hour period that he instructs his violent supporters to disperse and leave the Capitol, and instead watched the violent attack unfold on television.”
-Trump carried out and participated in “a multi-part conspiracy to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 Presidential election.”
-Intelligence that the January 6 riot was planned, with the participation of extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, had been obtained in advance, and that information was shared within the executive branch.
-There was no information that Antifa, or other similar groups, was planning to riot or attack Trump supporters during the events of January 6.
-Intelligence agencies did not, prior to January 6, become aware of the “full extent” of the behind-the-scenes legal maneuvering by Trump’s team, or that Trump himself would provoke the crowd in person prior to the riot.
-Capitol and DC Metropolitan police officers “performed their duties bravely on January 6th, and America owes those individuals immense gratitude for their courage in the defense of Congress and our Constitution,” and if not for their actions, things on that day would have turned out much worse.
-And finally, Trump himself did not direct the deployment of the National Guard in the District of Columbia, even though he had the power to do so. “The Select Committee recognizes that some at the Department had genuine concerns, counseling caution, that President Trump might give an illegal order to use the military in support of his efforts to overturn the election,” the report says.
Trump commented on the referrals, on Truth Social Monday.
“These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me. It strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Americans know that I pushed for 20,000 troops to prevent violence on Jan 6, and that I went on television and told everyone to go home….”
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.