U.S. Capitol riot probe to release final report on assault by Trump backers By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The members of the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol sit beneath two overlapping images in a video showing former President Donald Trump speaking on the telephone in the Oval Office as they hold

By Patricia Zengerle

Flying drone with camera

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. congressional panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol wraps up its work on Wednesday with a final report outlining its case that former President Donald Trump should face criminal charges of inciting the deadly riot.

The report, to be issued online, is expected to be more than 1,000 pages long, based on nearly 1,200 interviews over 18 months and hundreds of thousands of documents, as well as the rulings of more than 60 federal and state courts.

The report lists 17 specific findings, discusses the legal implications of actions by Trump and some of his associates and includes criminal referrals to the Justice Department of Trump and other individuals. It also identifies legislative recommendations to help avert another such attack.

The report’s release comes two days after the committee asked federal prosecutors to charge the former Republican president with four crimes, including obstruction and insurrection, for efforts to overturn results of the November 2020 election and sparking the attack on the seat of government.

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“Rather than honor his constitutional obligation to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ President Trump instead plotted to overturn the election outcome,” the Democratic-led House of Representatives select committee said in a 160-page summary of the report released on Monday.

Trump gave a fiery speech to his supporters near the White House the morning of Jan. 6, and publicly chastised his vice president, Mike Pence, for not going along with his scheme to reject ballots cast in favor of Democrat Joe Biden. Trump then waited hours to make a public statement as thousands of his supporters raged through the Capitol, assaulting police and threatening to hang Pence.

With Trump’s fellow Republicans taking control of the House on Jan. 3, the Democratic-led select committee must wrap up its work, and it ended with a bang. Monday marked the first time in U.S. history that a congressional committee referred a former president for criminal charges.

“This committee is nearing the end of its work. But as a country we remain in strange and uncharted waters. We’ve never had a president of the United States stir up a violent attempt to block the transfer of power,” Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, who chairs the Jan. 6 committee, said on Monday.

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The committee’s request that Trump be charged does not compel federal prosecutors to act, but comes as a special counsel is overseeing two other federal probes of Trump related to his attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat by Biden and the removal of classified files from the White House.

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