Washington — The House committee has a final meeting on January 6, which is expected to be its final meeting on Monday, where members will vote on the formal adoption of the committee’s final report and possible criminal referrals there to the Department of Justice.
The proceedings are the culmination of the panel’s investigation for almost 18 months on the attack on the US Capitol, which featured testimony from multiple witnesses and a series of high-profile hearings examining the attack and former President Donald Trump’s role in urging his supporters to storm the building. CBS News will air the meeting as a special report at 1 pm ET on CBS television stations and its streaming network.
The committee is expected to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution, although members have not confirmed who they will refer.
Congressional referrals are recommendations only, and the Department of Justice is under no obligation to bring charges against those referred for prosecution. Still, the committee’s referrals could increase political pressure on the department to act, and lawmakers could reveal new evidence in their final report that federal prosecutors still don’t have access to.
The committee has already issued subpoenas to several Trump associates who have refused to comply with subpoenas to appear before the committee, including former adviser Steve Bannon, to be tried and convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress.
In November, Attorney General Merrick nominated Garland Jack Smith as special adviser overseeing the Justice Department’s own probes into the former president, including alleged efforts to disrupt a transition of power after the 2020 presidential election.
Representative Adam Schiff of California, one of the members of the committee, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believes, as a former prosecutor, that the department gathered “sufficient” evidence to charge Trump. Schiff said “Face the Nation” on December 11 that he believes the Department of Justice has “used” evidence presented in committee hearings, and will do the same for the information contained in the report.
Trump has insisted that he did nothing wrong on January 6, and that the investigation by what he calls the “Unselect Committee on political hacks” is a “witch hunt”.
The committee is sunsetting before the next Congress takes place in January. Four of its members are not returning to Congress: Representative Liz Cheney lost the Republican primary in Wyoming in August to a Trump-backed challenger; Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria lost in the general election in November; and Representative Adam Kinzinger and Democratic Representative Stephanie Murphy chose not to stand for re-election.