Cheney suggests that the Jan. 6 panel could refer multiple Trump criminal cases to DOJ

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House Jan.

05 July 2022 Tuesday 09:19
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Cheney suggests that the Jan. 6 panel could refer multiple Trump criminal cases to DOJ

WASHINGTON -- Members of the House Jan. 6-Committee stated Sunday that they could refer federal prosecutors to former President Donald Trump in connection with his attempts to reverse the 2020 election results.

On Sunday, members of the committee gathered to discuss the congressional investigation.

Rep. Liz Cheney (Republican from Wyoming), was the vice-chair and one of the two Republicans on this panel. She said that "we'll take a decision as an entire committee" regarding whether to alert the Justice Department about possible crimes it has discovered.

She stated that the Justice Department does not have to wait for a committee to make a referral. There could be multiple criminal referrals.

She also mentioned the explosive public hearing in which Cassidy Hutchinson (the former White House chief of staff) detailed Trump's outbursts on the day he called for supporters to march to Washington. Trump stated, "I don’t care that they have arms," as he asked his aides for help to remove magnetometers from the White House. This was before he addressed the "Stop the Steal” rally. Hutchinson also testified. "They are not here to harm me."

Cheney stated, "It's very alarming. And I believe we will continue to present to American people what our findings have revealed."

Cheney responded to a question about whether she was concerned about the possibility of a former president launching a second presidential bid in 2024. "I am more worried about what it would signif people aren't held responsible for what's occurred here."

The panel is unsure whether it should refer its findings to Justice Department. When asked by reporters last month if the panel had considered referring Trump's criminal case, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), said that he did not have the authority to do so.

Other members of the committee are forming a consensus behind a referral as they continue to collect evidence. This would increase pressure on the Justice Department for an investigation into Trump's actions. The department stated that federal prosecutors are investigating the scheme to declare Trump the winner in states won by Joe Biden.

Cheney raised a new concern at the public hearing where Hutchinson testified. He said that Trump's allies had tried to influence witnesses who cooperated with him.

NBC News reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment.

Trump has not been charged with any crime, and the committee does not have any prosecution powers. Trump called the committee a "kangaroo Court" in public statements and claimed that Hutchinson's account is false.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), agreed with Cheney and suggested that the committee could send multiple criminal referrals. He said that Trump's status as a former president would make it difficult for the Justice Department to excuse him.

"You know, the Justice Department has held the position for four years that you cannot indict a sitting President," Schiff stated on CBS's Face the Nation. "If the department now took the position you can't investigate and indict an ex-president, then a president is above the law."

Schiff's comments indicate growing tensions between Justice Department and the committee, which is headed by Attorney General Merrick Galrland. Officials from the department have asked the committee to provide transcripts of witness interviews and bemoaned its "failure to quickly provide" the material.



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