How to watch the House Jan. 6 committee vote on criminal referrals at final meeting

The House Jan.6 committee is expected to formally adopt its final report and vote on possible criminal referrals Monday at a public meeting. It’s the culmination of the committee’s nearly 18-month investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

Flying drone with camera

CBS News will air the proceedings as a special report at 1 p.m. ET on CBS television stations and its streaming network. 

The committee is expected to make criminal referrals, although the members have not confirmed who they will refer to the Justice Department for potential prosecution. In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland named Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee  the Justice Department’s own probe into alleged efforts to interfere with the transfer of power in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, one of the members of the committee, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he believes, as a former prosecutor, that they have collected “sufficient” evidence to charge former President Donald Trump. 

Another committee member, Rep. Jamie Raskin, told CBS “Sunday Morning” earlier this month that “people are hungering for justice and for accountability and consequences here.”

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“I know that people feel that we need to make sure that accountability runs all the way to the top. Just because you’re elected president, or used to be president, does not give you the right to engage in crimes freely,” said Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland. 

The House Jan. 6 select committee was formed in July 2021 after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempts to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the attack, similar to the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, were thwarted by Senate Republicans

The select committee was initially supposed to be made up of eight Democrats and five Republicans. But after Pelosi rejected two Republicans who had cast votes that could have overturned the 2020 election results, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled all his picks from the committee. After refusing to participate, Republican leaders have objected to the committee’s hearings and called its work partisan. 

The final makeup of the committee was seven Democrats and two Republicans who broke with McCarthy to join: Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

The committee began its investigative work with a public hearing held in July 2021 that featured several law enforcement officers. Over the next 11 months, the committee conducted more than 100 interviews, including with some in Trump’s inner circle and even in his family, and subpoenaed more than 1,000 documents.

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The committee then held a series of high-profile public hearings beginning in June to present some of the evidence that had been gathered. In the hearings, the committee focused on different parts of what members have alleged was a multi-pronged effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results, including pressure campaigns on then-Vice President Mike Pence and his staff and top members of the Justice Department as well as local and state elections officials. 


Former aide testifies on Jan. 6 warnings

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The committee also shed light on an alleged scheme by Trump and his allies to replace electors in seven battleground states won by President Joe Biden, with a slate of Trump electors. Committee chair Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said in July that the lawmakers were speaking with the Justice Department about the alleged scheme. 

The hearings sought to tie Trump to the mobilization of his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The committee showed recorded testimony from witnesses, never-before-seen video from the day of the riot, in-person testimony from an injured Capitol police officer, and interviews with members of the Trump White House, his campaign, Pence’s office, a retired federal judge, state and local elections officials, a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers and an Ohio man who pleaded guilty for his role in the Jan. 6 riot. 

In the final hearing in October, the committee voted to subpoena Trump for documents and testimony. They issued the subpoena in mid-November, and Trump filed a lawsuit attempting to quash it.

Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong on Jan. 6, and that the investigation by what he’s called the “Unselect Committee of political hacks” is a “witch hunt.” 


Jan. 6 committee votes to subpoena Donald Trump

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The committee has made several criminal referrals to the Justice Department for Trump associates who refused to comply with subpoenas to appear before the committee, including former adviser Steve Bannon, who was tried and convicted on two charges of contempt of Congress.

Thompson said last week that the committee had made more criminal referrals, although he did not elaborate on who they involved. Schiff told “Face the Nation” on Dec. 11 that he believes the Justice Department has “made use” of evidence presented in the committee’s hearings, and will do the same for the information included in its report.

The committee is sunsetting before the next Congress takes over in January. Four of its members are not returning to Congress — Cheney lost the Republican primary in Wyoming in August to a Trump-backed challenger; Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria lost in the general election in November; and Kinzinger and Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy opted not to run for reelection.

Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.


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