Jan. 6 panel recommends criminal charges for Trump over Capitol riot

Former President Donald Trump should face criminal charges for his actions in connection with last year’s Capitol riot, according to the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

The bipartisan panel recommended the Justice Department charge the 76-year-old Trump with insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements to investigators, and conspiracy to defraud the US government, after discovering the former president pushed claims he knew were false about the 2020 presidential election.

“[Trump] lost the 2020 election and knew it, but he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme to overturn the results and block the transfer of power,” said committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D.-Miss.) in his opening statement. “In the end, he summoned a mob to Washington and, knowing they were armed and angry, pointed them to the capital and told them to ‘fight like hell.’”

The vote was conducted 15 days before the new Republican majority takes over in the House, at which time it is expected to dissolve the select committee at the first opportunity.

While the vote is largely symbolic, the investigation and recommendation of charges can be used by the Justice Department to pursue a case against Trump, who is so far the only person to announce his candidacy in the 2024 presidential election.

“We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice, and that the agencies and institutions responsible for ensuring justice under the law will use the information we provided to aid in their work,” Thompson said.

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