Jan. 6 committee to release final report after urging DOJ to prosecute Trump: live updates

Written by on December 21, 2022

  • The report is expected to include eight chapters tracking hearings in June and July.
  • The report comes after the panel recommended the Justice Department charge Trump with insurrection.
  • The committee also recommended Ethics Committee inquiries for four Republican lawmakers.

WASHINGTON – The final report from the House committee that investigated the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, is expected Wednesday.

The report culminates an 18-month inquiry into what led to the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and what happened that day. With Republicans who labeled the panel partisan and illegitimate taking control of the House in January, the report will be the committee’s last opportunity to summarize its findings and make recommendations aimed at preventing another attack.

Here is what we know so far:

Former President Donald Trump displayed on a screen during a hearing Monday of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Will Trump loyalist Hope Hicks’ Jan. 6 testimony incriminate the former president?

The Jan. 6 committee already revealed damaging testimony from former Donald Trump loyalist Hope Hicks on Monday. With the full report coming out as early as today, and a transcript of her lengthy interview with the House panel, what else might be coming out about what she saw and heard in the White House that day – and in the days and weeks leading up to it?

Hicks, for instance, told Trump she believed he’d lost the election to Joe Biden and that there was no evidence of widespread fraud as he had falsely been claiming. “I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging his legacy,” Hicks said in videotaped testimony that was displayed on a huge screen towering over the packed hearing room Monday. Trump’s response? “He said something along the lines of nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won’t matter,” Hicks said. “The only thing that matters is winning.”

Hope Hicks testimony:Will Trump loyalist Hope Hicks’ Jan. 6 testimony incriminate the former president?

Former Trump administration staffers and legal experts believe her full testimony will be even more damning to the former president, both in the court of public opinion and a court of law should he ever be prosecuted. “The significance of Hope Hicks’ testimony to the (Jan. 6) committee cannot be overlooked,” said Stephanie Grisham, a Trump White House press secretary and communications director who worked closely with Hicks. “Next to Dan Scavino, she was Trump’s most trusted aide and one of the only people he listened to. Her constant proximity to the president makes her not just valuable as a witness, but vital.”

 – Josh Meyer

Committee urges Justice Department to charge Trump

In an unprecedented move, the committee recommended Monday the Justice Department charge Trump criminally.

The recommendation is nonbinding and the department already has a special counsel investigating Trump. But the evidence the committee gathered could provide a roadmap for prosecutors.

The committee argued Trump violated laws governing obstruction of Congress, inciting an insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement. The Justice Department declined comment on the recommendations.

Jack Smith was named special counsel on Nov. 18 to oversee the Justice Department's investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election.

Trump contends criticism from partisan committee helps him politically

Trump, who has called the committee partisan and illegitimate, said the report would help him run for president in 2024.

Trump noted that he wanted to prevent violence on Jan. 6, but spent most of his statement focused on politics.

“These folks don’t get it that when they come after me, people who love freedom rally around me,” Trump said on the Truth Social website. “It strengthens me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”

What does insurrection mean?

Convicting Trump of insurrection could be a high hurdle for prosecutors to clear, according to legal experts. A majority of 57 senators voted to convict him when the House impeached Trump for inciting the insurrection, but he was acquitted for lack of a two-thirds majority.

Part of the challenge in criminal court would be proving Trump’s intent to spark rebellion against the government. Trump contends he was challenging election results as is his right. But lawmakers said criminal intent could be found in Trump’s clash with Secret Service agents over joining the mob at the Capitol and in his rally speech the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, urging protesters to “fight like hell.”

“It’s not an impossible bar, but it is a difficult bar to clear,” said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami. “The problem here, as always, is that you have to prove intent.”

Inciting insurrection:A striking condemnation of Trump – but a high bar for prosecutors

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