U.S. House panel recommends criminal charge against Trump

Donald Trump: His lawyers argue for his acquittal

Donald Trump

The U.S. House Jan. 6 panel wrapped up its protracted proceedings Monday, recommending criminal charges against Trump and associates.

They were all indicted for launching a multifaceted pressure campaign to try to overturn his 2020 election loss.

The charges recommended by the committee are conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to make a false statement and insurrection.

Seven Democrats and two Republicans made up the panel.

It declared it has assembled a “roadmap to justice” to bring criminal charges against former President Donald Trump and his allies.

The committee alleged violations of four criminal statutes by Trump, in both the run-up to the riot and during the insurrection itself, as it recommended the former president for prosecution to the Justice Department.

While a criminal referral is mostly symbolic, with the Justice Department ultimately deciding whether to prosecute Trump or others, it is a decisive end to a probe that had an almost singular focus from the start.

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Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the criminal justice system can provide accountability, adding, “We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice.”

Thompson said Trump “broke the faith” that people have when they cast ballots in a democracy.

“He lost the 2020 election and knew it,” Thompson said.

“But he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme to overturn the results and block the transfer of power.”

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s Republican vice chairwoman, said in opening remarks that every president in American history has defended the orderly transfer of power, “except one.”

The committee also voted 9-0 to approve its final report, which will include findings, interview transcripts and legislative recommendations.

The report is expected to be released in full Wednesday.

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