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Jan. 6 committee plans to issue criminal referrals along with its final report

WASHINGTON — The House Jan. 6 committee plans to release any criminal referrals as part of its final report, committee members said Wednesday.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee chairman, told reporters Tuesday he expects the panel to make criminal referrals, but that members are still weighing who would be the targets of the referrals and how many the panel would make.

In addition to considering a referral involving former President Donald Trump, the committee could offer contempt of Congress referrals for fellow members who have ignored its subpoenas, for witnesses it believes lied to its investigators and for individuals it believes attempted to intimidate witnesses in the probe.

The committee is required by statute to issue a final report by Dec. 31, so any referrals to the Justice Department or other agencies are expected to come before the end of the year.

“The committee continues to meet. [We have a] meeting upcoming, and decision points to be made,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., a committee member. “We will announce anything we have likely as a part of our final report.”

The final report will be a massive compilation of the work the committee has done for the last year and a half, outlining its findings and offering up recommendations and possible legislation to prevent something like the Jan. 6 attack from happening again. Thompson has said the final document could be up to eight chapters.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol holds a hearing
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol holds a hearing in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 13.Jacquelyn Martin / AP file

Aguilar said the committee members are now meeting “almost daily” and they still have a lot of work to do before they settle on the form and fashion of the pending referrals.

“We haven’t finalized any decisions yet. Our options are on the table. Referrals to outside agencies are possible and as soon as the committee finishes our work moving forward to sharing our results,” he said.

In court filings, committee lawyers have already argued that they believe Trump committed a crime. The committee made those arguments in federal court as it sought documents from attorney John Eastman, who featured prominently in the panel’s public hearings.

Referrals from the committee carry no legal weight but serve as recommendations to agencies.