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A commission of inquiry into the January 6 rebellion recommends that the judiciary file criminal charges

A commission of inquiry into the January 6 rebellion recommends that the judiciary file criminal charges

(CNN) — Penny Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US capital, told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have decided to recommend criminal charges,” Thompson said. He said they would make those recommendations to the Justice Department, though he said they had not yet defined the universe of people who could be affected by those charges.

Asked if he believed any of the witnesses had perjured themselves, Thompson replied, “That’s part of the debate.”

Recommendations will be made in a separate document from the panel’s final report, which will be sent to the Justice Department, Thompson said.

For its part, a spokesperson for the committee told CNN: “The committee has decided that recommendations to outside agencies should be considered the final part of its work. The committee will decide on those details in the coming days.”

Another source told CNN that recommendations for criminal charges would eventually “focus on the key organizers and leaders of the attacks.”

A subcommittee was tasked with providing the commission with options on how to address potential sanctions, potential perjury and potential witness tampering, and potential recommendations for criminal charges to the Department of Justice.

Benny Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Representatives of the Democratic Party. Jamie Raskin, Adam Schiff and Joe Lofgren and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the group, all trained lawyers make up the subcommittee.

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The decision to issue criminal references has come from the panel. Members of the panel broadly admitted that former President Donald Trump and some of his closest associates had committed a crime by conspiring to prevent a peaceful transition of power, as exposed at their trial. However, they have long been divided over what to do about Trump’s criminal charges, including whether to refer them to the Justice Department.

In the past, the question has led to a heated, sometimes contentious debate among board members, sources said. Those who previously said criminal recommendations were not necessary to close the panel’s investigation say the panel lacks prosecutorial powers and that Congress does not need the Justice Department to investigate the crimes because it has its own criminal investigations into the attack on the Capitol.

However, the idea of ​​a recommendation for criminal charges against Trump, even if purely symbolic in nature, has been a shadow of the panel since it was first formed, and many members saw it as a necessary step to complete their work. .