House panel urges Trump charges
December 20, 2022 - The U.S. House of Representatives panel probing the deadly January 2021 attack on the Capitol has asked the Justice Department to charge former President Donald Trump with four criminal counts.
Following a 17-month investigation, the committee voted Monday unanimously to refer Trump for prosecution by the Justice Department on four criminal offences, including obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the United States, making false statements, and aiding or inciting an insurrection.
Bennie Johnson, chairman of the committee, said that Donald Trump “lost the 2020 election and knew it. But he chose to try to stay in office.”
“In the end, he summoned a mob to Washington, and knowing they were armed and angry, pointed them at the Capitol and told them to ‘fight like hell’. There’s no doubt about this,” he added.
A referral to the Justice Department is non-binding -- it does not mean an immediate prosecution of Trump. However, the committee’s report, which will be made public on Wednesday, is expected to help the Department in its investigation.
“Every president in our history has defended this orderly transfer of authority -- except one. January 6, 2021, was the first time one American president refused his constitutional duty to transfer power peacefully to the next,” said Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican vice-chair of the panel. “He is unfit for any office,” Cheney added.
Trump has attacked the committee’s work as a politically motivated witch hunt.