Subcommittee Formed To Consider Criminal Referrals Via Jan 6 Panel

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The House committee investigating January 6 is avidly continuing with its work — so Trump can keep that on the list of worries.

According to newly available information, the panel has formed a subcommittee comprised of four members with legal backgrounds to deal with questions including whether to issue further criminal referrals to the Justice Department. Referrals wouldn’t force prosecutors to bring charges, but they would no doubt come with significant levels of evidence. (It’s like a formal recommendation for a criminal case.) So far, referrals approved by the committee have focused on obstruction of its investigation rather than the key acts that are a subject of that probe, and two of the already issued referrals have resulted in criminal charges against allies of the former president.

The sub-group of lawmakers on the committee will also be considering a response to refusals from Republican legislators and Trump himself to comply with subpoenas, reports indicate. The committee publicly approved a subpoena demanding documents and testimony from Trump during recently held public proceedings. Alongside all of these developments, chairperson Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has also revealed an expected date range for the final report from the panel: next month. The committee looks set to end its work with this Congress, when several members will be leaving Congressional service altogether and the GOP will be taking slim majority control of the chamber. “Our goal is to get it completed soon so we can get it to the printer,” Thompson told reporters of the planned report. “We plan to have our product out sometime in December.”

As for the announced subcommittee, it includes Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and they’re getting right to work, with recommendations expected within weeks. “The subcommittee is expected to make recommendations to Thompson around the start of December over what the referrals might look like, and advise on how to proceed with potential legal action against Trump and Republican lawmakers who defied the panel’s subpoenas, said a source familiar with the matter,” per The Guardian. Schiff — who has recently been the subject of Senate speculation — also has experience as a federal prosecutor. All of this is also separate from the selection this week of a special counsel to help lead Trump-related investigations at the Justice Department. The move doesn’t majorly add to the substance of the probes relating to Donald, but it does majorly boost those investigations’ independence and protection from interference.