Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the January 6 Committee, said Monday evening there would be no criminal referrals of former President Donald Trump or anyone else to the Department of Justice (DOJ) — and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) promptly disagreed in public.
Cheney, one of two anti-Trump Republicans hand-picked by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to serve on the committee, fired back:
The committee has voted to recommend that several former Trump aides be held in contempt of Congress, and the full U.S. House has voted for several contempt referrals, two of which have led to prosecutions, contrary to DOJ’s custom of declining such referrals.
Democrats and many in the establishment media have been pressing the committee to provide a basis for the DOJ to charge Trump as well. The absence of a criminal referral does not mean the DOJ will not prosecute Trump or his aides: the DOJ is reportedly using transcripts from the committee’s behind-closed-doors depositions in criminal investigations.