The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has voted in favor of recommending five allies of former President Donald Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution over what The New York Times summarized as allegations of involvement in conspiring to defraud the United States.
Those identified by the committee were all involved in Trump’s efforts after the 2020 presidential election to hold on to power despite his loss. The list includes Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, and Kenneth Chesebro. Meadows was the White House chief of staff when the Capitol riot took place, and thousands of text messages he provided to the House panel before abruptly ending his cooperation show him closely involved in developing strategy ahead of January 6. In a reply to a message from Donald Trump Jr. (which may have been forwarded from someone else) in which the now former president’s son raised the prospect of state legislators supporting electoral votes for Trump in states Biden won, the then-administration official indicated he and the then-president’s team were “Working on this for pa, ga and nc already.” (Trump Jr.’s message also mentioned other avenues for potential action, but it started with talking about the electors.)
Giuliani, meanwhile, personally traveled to several states where the Trump team was challenging results that showed Biden winning, and he made his case there to state legislators — the same officials facing pressure for action from other sources. At least three Democratic state legislators who heard from Rudy were already interviewed in the ongoing criminal investigation in Georgia by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into pro-Trump meddling after the 2020 election. The others cited by the House riot panel had other varied roles, like Eastman’s help developing plans by which Pence could have supposedly blocked the certification in Congress of Biden’s 2020 win.
As for Trump, the riot committee recommended him for prosecution on four federal charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to make a false statement, and involvement in insurrection. The panel also referred several Republican members of Congress, including both Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy, the latter of whom could become the next Speaker, to the House Ethics Committee for defying the panel’s subpoenas. The committee’s decisions don’t force action by the Justice Department, but members have supporting evidence including what is outlined in a summary of findings stretching over 100 pages that was released Monday.