The House committee investigating January 6 has, among its final official acts, referred four Republicans currently serving in the chamber for investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which can impose penalties following findings of misconduct.
Although there wouldn’t be a precise correlation to what these Republicans are facing, the ethics panel recently demanded outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) pay some $15,000 in connection to his involvement in a now defunct right-wing cryptocurrency in which he initially didn’t disclose his full stake. The Republicans now referred for ethics investigations by January 6 investigators include Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs, all of whom were either involved in the push to block the last presidential election results or — in Kevin’s case — were in contact with Trump the day of the riot.
As recapped by The New York Times, Jordan participated in deliberations with White House officials over what to do about the 2020 presidential election results, Perry helped push for then-Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who was sympathetic to Trump, to be made department head, and Biggs pushed for the support of state legislators in election subversion efforts.
The referrals from the January 6 panel don’t cover any involvement these Republicans may have had in attempts to block Joe Biden from taking office despite his win. Instead, the panel’s move simply deals with their refusals to comply with subpoenas. In some of the committee’s findings outlining their conclusions regarding these Republicans in the House, investigators added those facing referrals “should be questioned in a public forum about their advance knowledge of and role in President Trump’s plan to prevent the peaceful transition of power.”
The committee also recommended Donald Trump and five of his associates, including Rudy Giuliani, to the Justice Department for prosecution on allegations covering their attempts to undo the 2020 presidential election. Although the recommendations don’t force prosecutors to bring charges, committee members settled on a pointed belief Trump is guilty of at least four federal crimes, including an insurrection offense that also covers providing assistance to those participating in it.
In opening remarks at the Monday proceedings where the committee voted to make these referrals, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who is leaving Congress in January, directly insisted Trump should never hold any public office again. She described his actions as both unlawful and a moral failure, outlining how he watched television coverage of the violence as it enveloped the Capitol while facing pleas from some of those in his entourage for action to help calm tensions. He eventually released a video message that day in which he called participants in the brutal and deadly riot “very special.” And what would happen if he regains the White House? What about if he makes it to the general election in 2024 but loses again?