By Ethan Percival
In a truly shocking and historic move, the January 6th Committee has moved to refer four criminal charges to the Department of Justice against former US president Donald Trump. Among these charges include obstruction of an official proceeding, assisting or aiding an insurrection, conspiring to injure or impede an officer and seditious conspiracy, and conspiracy to make false statements.
The criminal referral comes two years after the events of January 6th, 2021, when a crowd Trump had allegedly encouraged, stormed the US Capitol Building. Preceding the referral, over 1000+ witnesses were interviewed along with a countless number of documents including texts, emails, and phone calls that were analyzed by the committee leading to, as the committee wrote, “[a] straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed…”
The referral is not a guarantee that the Department of Justice will act upon it. The action; however, puts former President Trump’s involvement in the attempting to overturn the 2020 and incitement of the January 6 raid on the US Capitol Building on clear display.
In the days after the referral, the committee released the 845 page final report of the committee’s findings. Their investigation into Trump’s activities both before and after the events of the Capitol raid found that not only did Trump know the 2020 election was not stolen, but he had planned to claim it had been stolen months before the first vote was cast. Additionally, on the day of the riot, the findings of the committee showed Trump repeatedly ignored pleas to end the violence and believed the crowd was doing nothing wrong.
It was of the utmost importance that the committee referred Trump to the Justice Department as it was disbanded at the end of the previous congress on January 3, 2023. As of now, the future is unpredictable and it is currently unknown whether the Justice Department will move forward with the charges the referral has recommended they place upon Trump.