WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Capitol riot will make its final public presentation Monday about the unprecedented effort by Donald Trump to overturn the results of the presidential election he lost in 2020. The committee has called it an “attempted coup” that warrants criminal prosecution from the Justice Department.
That is expected to be the committee’s closing argument as it wraps up a year-and-a-half-long inquiry and prepares to release a final report detailing its findings about the insurrection in the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory. The committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans is set to dissolve at the end of the year.
Monday’s meeting will be the committee’s 11th public session since forming in July 2021. One of the first hearings, on June 9, was viewed by more than 20 million people.
What to watch for in Monday’s meeting at 1 p.m. EST:
The committee is expected to make both criminal and civil referrals against the former president and his allies, who, according to lawmakers, broke the law or committed ethical violations.
The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the referrals may include criminal, ethics violations, legal misconduct and campaign finance violations. Lawmakers have suggested in particular that their recommended charges against Trump could include conspiracy to defraud the United State, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress and insurrection.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday that he believes Trump committed multiple crimes. Pointing specifically to insurrection, Schiff said that “if you look at Donald Trump’s acts and you match them up against the statute, it’s a pretty good match.”
“This is someone who in multiple ways tried to pressure state officials to find votes that didn’t exist, this is someone who tried to interfere with a joint session, even inciting a mob to attack the Capitol,” Schiff told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If that’s not criminal then I don’t know what it is.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said last week that the committee’s actions will focus on “key players” where there is sufficient evidence or abundant evidence that they committed crimes.
It will fall to federal prosecutors to decide whether to bring charges. Even though they are non-binding, the recommendations by the committee would add to the political pressure on the Justice Department as special counsel Jack Smith conducts an investigation into Jan. 6 and Trump’s actions.
FILE – A video of President Donald Trump is shown on a screen, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, July 21, 2022. On Monday, Dec. 19, the House committee will make its final case to the American people about the unprecedented effort by former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election and why the Justice Department should pursue criminal charges in connection to it. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)