Jan 6 committee chair:NO plans to bring criminal charges against Trump

Chair of January 6 committee sparks row with fellow members by RULING OUT referring Trump for criminal prosecution – but Liz Cheney and Adam Schiff say they could still recommend charges

  • Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the January 6 select committee, said the panel will not make any criminal referrals when it comes to former President Donald Trump 
  • The claim was swiftly contradicted by panel members Liz Cheney and Adam Schiff, who said no decision had been made
  • Attorney General Merrick Garland said a decision to prosecute will be up to the Justice Department
  • Just one day before Thompson essentially ruled out charges against Trump, three panel Democrats suggested they had enough evidence for a criminal charge against the former president 
  • Former Trump advisers Bill Stepien and Jason Miller both testified in previously unseen video that Rudy Giuliani was the first person in the ex-president’s circle to push election fraud claims 
  • Trump’s fraud claims came ‘right out of the box on election night,’ testified ex-Attorney General Bill Barr
  • Meanwhile lawmakers are making the case that the vast majority of people around Trump knew how the election was going and eventually how it would end – and that they made it clear to their boss
  • The committee is investigating the Capitol riot as just one part of a wider alleged plot by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election and undermine American democracy

Members of the House committee investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat can’t seem to make up their minds on whether to refer former President Donald Trump and his associates for criminal prosecution over their role in planning January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Members of the committee had called on Sunday for the US Justice Department to consider a criminal indictment, warning, ‘the danger is still out there’. 

But on Monday night, Chairman Bennie Thompson essentially ruled the matter out entirely, saying that it had no plans to make a referral to the DOJ.

“No, that’s not our job,’ Thompson said of referring Trump for criminal charges. ‘Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around January 6, what caused it and make recommendations after that.’

“We’re going to tell the facts. If the Department of Justice looks at it, and assume that there’s something that needs further review, I’m sure they’ll do it,” Thompson added.

Chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, said the panel will not make any criminal referrals when it comes to former President Donald Trump

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., as the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Monday

He noted that the entirety of the committee’s final report would be made public so that ‘anybody can have access to it’ – including the Department of Justice, which may decide to take independent action against Trump or those who assisted him in his attempts to overthrow the 2020 election.

‘If they want, after reviewing it, to come back and ask to talk to some of the staff or the members who helped produce the report, I’m sure they will,’ Thompson said.

At the same time, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that federal prosecutors are watching the hearings and the Justice Department will make the final decision on whether a formal criminal referral takes place. 

‘I am watching, and I will be watching all the hearings, although I may not be able to watch all of it live,’ Garland said. ‘But I will be sure that I am watching all of it. And I can assure you that the January 6 prosecutors are watching all of the hearings as well.’ 


Thompson’s claim swiftly pushed back by panel members Liz Cheney and Adam Schiff saying no decision had been made

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., (2-R), accompanied by Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., (2-L), speaks with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., (R), speak together, during a short break, during Monday’s hearing

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice chairwoman of the committee, was quick to walk back Thompson’s statement Monday evening, saying that the committee had not reached any conclusion about ‘potential criminal referrals.’

‘The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time.’ 

Meanwhile, committee member and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), said he believed that any decisions on criminal referrals would happen after the investigation concludes. 

‘We haven’t had a discussion about that, so I don’t know that the committee has reached a position on whether we make a referral or what the referrals might be,’ Schiff told Anderson Cooper on CNN.

‘I thought we were deferring that decision until we concluded our investigation. At least that’s my understanding.’ 

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, said the panel is ‘less concerned with whether or not there was a specific statutory offense committed than making clear to the public that there was no rational basis upon which anyone could conclude that (Trump) had actually won the election.’ 

A decision to prosecute will be up to the Justice Department, whether there is a formal criminal referral or not.

Garland has declined to comment on any of the new evidence being presented before the committee, noting that the DOJ does not comment on ongoing investigations. 

‘We do that both for the viability of our investigations and because it’s the right thing to do with respect to the civil liberties of people under investigation.’ 

Attorney General Merrick Garland said that federal prosecutors are watching the hearings and the Justice Department will make the decision on whether a formal criminal referral takes place

An advertisement soliciting donations for former U.S. President Donald Trump is seen as it was introduced as evidence and displayed on a screen above U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Chairperson Bennie Thompson (D-MS) , Vice Chair U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) and U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) holding the second public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump told the committee that it became ‘increasingly clear’ on election night that the vote count would extend for several days

Earlier on Monday, the committee revealed how Donald Trump shrugged off Jared Kushner’s concerns about Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud claims, the January 6 committee revealed in its second of six hearings on Monday. 

The Democrat-led panel opened the hearing with videotaped depositions of Trump’s advisers claiming he declared a premature victory on election night 2020 on the advise of a drunk Giuliani.

Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney said Trump ‘rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night’ in favor of advice from ‘an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani’ who told him to declare victory that night and insist the vote count be stopped ‘to falsely claim everything was fraudulent.’ 

The panel played audio of its investigators asking Kushner, for instance, what he said about the former New York City mayor’s claims that Dominion Voting Systems was part of a vast conspiracy to rig its voting machines against Trump.

‘Uh, basically, not the approach I would take if I was you,’ Kushner said he told his father-in-law.

Trump dismissed him, insisting ‘I have confidence in Rudy,’ Kushner claimed.

Advisers’ testimonies indicate that it was apparent within hours on election night that the vote count would take several days. 

They were aware it could stretch from ‘very early on,’ according to his daughter and former White House adviser Ivanka Trump, Kushner’s wife. 

Lawmakers are suggesting that Trump’s aides were dismissive of the election fraud claims being pushed by some of his allies, and that the former president continued pushing them despite warnings from both family and associates.

Cheney said at the outset of the hearing: ‘Pay attention to what Donald Trump and his legal team said repeatedly about Dominion voting machines, far-flung conspiracies with a deceased Venezuelan communist allegedly pulling the strings.’

Former White House attorney Eric Herschmann said on video: ‘What they were proposing, I thought, was nuts.’

Elsewhere in the hearing…

  • Former Attorney General Bill Barr is among the top officials within the Justice Department to tell Donald Trump that Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud claims were ‘nonsense’
  • A video deposition shows Barr telling the committee he believed Giuliani’s fraud claims were ‘crazy stuff’ 
  • Giuliani responded on Steve Bannon’s podcast that the committee has ‘no case’ against him or Trump 
  • The committee heard from BJay Pak, a former US attorney from Georgia, and former Philadelphia commissioner Al Schmidt
  • Schmidt testified that he received targeted alarming threats against himself and his family after being publicly called out by Trump for refusing to investigate his fraud claims
  • Former Trump adviser Jason Miller said Giuliani made clear that anyone who did not agree with declaring premature victory on election night was ‘being weak’
  • Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who was due to attend the hearing but dropped out because his wife went into labor, testified on video that the ex-president was told his chance of winning days in was 5% 

The committee showed videotaped testimony by Rudy Giuliani himself admitting that he spoke with Trump ‘several times’ on election night, when multiple advisers told lawmakers that the former NYC mayor urged Trump to declare a premature victory 

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner testified to investigators that he told the then-president he doubted Giuliani’s election fraud theories

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he told the president that the election fraud theories he and Giuliani were pushing were ‘crazy stuff’

Takeaways: Trump’s mind was ‘made up’ of election fraud and his advisers describe the Giuliani factor

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection systemically made the case in its second hearing Monday that Trump and his advisers knew that his claims of fraud in the 2020 election were false.

The argument is key to the committee’s investigation as the nine-member panel details its evidence about what led to the violent insurrection. The rioters who broke into the Capitol that day and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory were echoing Trump’s falsehoods that he, not Biden, had rightfully won the election.

Takeaways from Monday’s hearing:

A witness pulls out, but video tells the story 

The hearing began with a scramble as Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien, the panel’s top Monday witness, said he would not appear due to a ‘family emergency.’ Committees chairman Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said Stepien’s wife was in labor.

But the committee had a plan B – hours of Stepien’s previous interview with the panel that was recorded on video. The committee aired multiple clips of that interview, along with others, as the hearing unfolded.

Stepien told investigators that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was urging Trump to declare victory on election night, despite Stepien’s warnings that it was ‘way too early’ to make a prediction like that.

‘My belief, my recommendation, was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race,’ Stepien said in one clip.

Trump went to the podium in the White House press room on election night and said that the early results were ‘a fraud on the American public’ and that ‘frankly, we did win this election.’

Trump’s mind ‘was made up’ on election fraud and anyone who disagreed was ‘weak’ 

Trump’s advisers told him repeatedly that he should wait on the results and should not declare that there was widespread election fraud. But Trump would not listen, and increasingly relied on wild claims that were pushed by Giuliani and Trump attorney Sidney Powell, among others, according to testimony.

The panel showed video from Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and campaign aide Jason Miller. Ivanka Trump told the panel that ‘it was clear’ the election wouldn’t be called on election night, and Kushner said he had told Trump at one point that Giuliani’s advice was ‘not the approach I would take.’ 

Trump responded that he had confidence in Giuliani.

Miller said there was a meeting on election night in which he told Trump that they shouldn’t declare victory until they had a better sense of the numbers. But Trump told a room of advisers that anyone who didn’t agree with Giuliani was being ‘weak.’

Stepien said his group of advisers was dubbed ‘team normal’ in contrast to the legal team pushing election fraud.

Former Attorney General William Barr, who declared publicly at the time that there was no evidence behind Trump’s fraud claims, said the president was increasingly becoming ‘detached from reality.’

Trump pushed multiple Attorneys General to pursue election fraud 

The committee made clear that Trump’s quest to undermine the presidential election ran through two Justice Departments – one headed by Bill Barr, the other by Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

Trump had attempted to have Rosen replaced with a loyalist who would have directed election officials in states narrowly won by Joe Biden to send in an alternate slate of electoral votes.

Barr’s videotaped testimony suggests he told Trump that Giuliani and Powell’s election fraud claims were ‘crazy stuff,’ singling out the Dominion Voting Systems allegations as ‘among the most disturbing allegations.’

‘Disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations. But they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people,’ Barr said. ‘Members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by somebody else… which was complete nonsense.’

And after his departure, then-Acting Attorney General testified to the committee that he had to tell Trump that his legal teams’ claims that there was rampant voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia were ‘just not true.’

‘I told the president myself that – several times in several conversations – that these allegations about ballots being smuggled in – in a suitcase, and run through the machine several times, it was not true,’ Rosen said. 

A monthslong campaign seeding doubt in the 2020 election 

Trump’s claims of fraud did not start after election day. The committee showed clips where Trump previewed his strategy in speeches throughout his 2020 campaign. In August of that year, he told an audience that fraud was the only way he would lose.

Stepien told the committee that he and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy had met with Trump in the summer of 2020 and made a two-pronged case for why he should stop criticizing mail-in voting. He and McCarthy told Trump that he was leaving ‘a lot to chance’ and that there were GOP party workers on the ground who could help get mail-in votes for Trump.

McCarthy, who has declined to cooperate with the Jan. 6 panel despite a subpoena, was ‘echoing the same argument,’ Stepien said.

‘But the president’s mind was made up,’ Stepien said.

The election night ‘Red Mirage’ 

Chris Stirewalt, a former political editor for Fox News Channel, testified in person at the hearing. Stirewalt made the election night call that President Joe Biden won Arizona – a moment that prompted ‘anger and disappointment’ in Trump’s circle at the White House, Miller said.

Stirewalt explained that the network, along with others, had expected that there would be a so-called ‘red mirage’ at the beginning of the evening as in-person Republican votes came in, and many of the mail-in votes that would be counted later on would lean Democratic. He noted it happens every election.

Trump had not only exploited that pattern to make false claims of fraud, but contributed to it in his campaign to call mail-in voting into question.

‘We had gone to pains, and I’m proud of the pains, we went to, to make sure that we were informing viewers that this was going to happen because the Trump campaign and the president had made it clear that they were going to try to exploit this anomaly,’ Stirewalt said.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press 

Barr told Trump election fraud claims were ‘crazy stuff’ in White House meeting where he thought the ex-president would fire him

Barr said he told the president that the election fraud theories he and Giuliani were pushing were ‘crazy stuff’ and that ‘they were wasting their time on and doing a great, great disservice to the country.’

He claimed the former president’s fraud claims came ‘right out of the box on election night’ in the previously unseen video.

‘I went over there and I told my secretary that I thought I would probably be fired,’ Barr said in the video, describing a previously-planned White House meeting. ‘I said, you might have to pack up for me.’

Barr said Trump was ‘as mad as I’ve ever seen him’ after the then-attorney general told the Associated Press that he saw no proof of widespread election fraud. 

‘You didn’t have to say this. You must have said this because you hate Trump. You hate Trump,’ Barr said Trump told him.

The former Justice official said he raised Trump and his allies’ claims about Dominion Voting Systems in particular, finding them ‘among the most disturbing allegations.’

‘Disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations. But they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people,’ Barr said. ‘Members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by somebody else… which was complete nonsense.’

‘And it was being laid out there and I told them that it was – it was crazy stuff, and they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing great, great disservice to the country.’

He said Trump’s election fraud claims were mounting every day, comparing them to a game of whack-a-mole.

”There was an avalanche of all these allegations of fraud that built up over a number of days and it was like playing Whack-a-Mole because something would come out one day and then the next day it would be another issue,’ Barr said. 

Audio testimony from Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who took office after Barr’s departure at the end of December, shows the former president pursued his fraud claims after Barr left but was again rebuffed by his own Justice officials.

Rosen told the committee he let Trump know the allegations of fraud in Georgia were ‘just not true.’

‘I told the president myself that – several times in several conversations – that these allegations about ballots being smuggled in – in a suitcase, and run through the machine several times, it was not true,’ Rosen said.

Trump advisers suggest Giuliani pulled the strings on election night 

Playing a video deposition from the former New York Mayor himself, Giuliani takes a large sip of water before answering that ‘yes’ he was at the White House residence in the early morning hours of November 4.

‘It went over beyond midnight, yes,’ Giuliani said. 

The panel also played video from the deposition of former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who dropped out of the hearing at the last minute after his wife went into labor.

Stepien told House investigators that he had heard Giuliani was ‘upstairs’ in a reception area looking to ‘talk to the president.’ 

He recalled huddling with former Trump adviser Jason Miller, Justin Clarke and ex-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ‘to listen to whatever Rudy presumably wanted to say to the president.’

Miller was asked if he observed anyone in that meeting had too much to drink – to which he named Giuliani as well. 

Asked if he himself recalled the meeting, Giuliani told House investigators: ‘I – I – I mean I spoke to the president. They may have been present. But I spoke to the president several times that night.’

Miller, however, was more direct in laying the blame at the former Trump lawyer’s feet.

‘There were suggestions, by I believe it was Mayor Giuliani, to go and declare victory and say that we’d won it outright,’ the former Trump adviser said on video. 

He said Giuliani made clear that ‘everyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak.’ 

Stepien said he encouraged Trump to say: ‘It’s too early to tell, too early to call the race. But you know, we are proud of the race we we ran and we think we’re in in good position. And we’ll have more to say about this.’

He said Trump disagreed with that plan.

Trump did hold an unprecedented press conference at the White House on election night where he claimed with absolutely no proof that the vote count was rife with ‘fraud on the American public.’ 

Later on Stepien’s testimony showed that member of Trump’s orbit knew they were facing defeat even as the ex-president continued to claim victory.

‘You know, I, we told him, the group that went over there, outlined, you know, my belief in, in chances for success at this point and then we pegged it at, you know, 5, maybe, maybe, 10 percent based on recounts that were, you know, either were automatically initiated or could be initiated based on, you know, realistic legal challenges, not all the legal challenges that eventually were pursued,’ the former campaign manager claimed.

‘Are you out of your effing mind?’: White House lawyer says he dismissed pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman’s election fraud theories

Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann was among the bluntest to rebuff Trump and his allies’ election fraud claims.

‘Are you out of your effing mind?’ Herschmann recalled asking pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman in his videotaped deposition. ‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition’

‘There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were’: Top quotes from the second January 6 hearing

‘The mayor was definitely intoxicated’: Former Trump advisor Jason Miller on Rudy Giuliani 

‘I don’t know that I had a firm view of what he should say’: Ivanka Trump on what her father should say on election night when it was too early to call the result

‘Right out of the box on election night, the President claimed that there was major fraud underway. I mean, this happened, as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence’: Former Attorney General Bill Barr 

 ‘Very, very, very, very bleak’: Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien on their chances of winning the 2020 election 

‘I told him that the stuff his people were shoveling out to the public was bulls***’: Barr on election fraud claims.

‘There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were’: Barr on Trump’s attitude to fraud claims.

‘The 2020 election was not close’: Republican campaign lawyer Bens Ginsberg

While the clip lacks context, Eastman is known for authoring a memo that outlined a false theory presented to former Vice President Mike Pence on how he could unilaterally overturn the 2020 election results. 

In another portion of his taped testimony, Herschmann explained why he believed election fraud theories about Dominion Voting Systems being pushed by Giuliani and fellow pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell were ‘completely nuts.’ 

‘It was a combination of Italians and Germans, I mean, different things have been floating around as to who was involved – I remember Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelans, and she has an affidavit from somebody who says they wrote a software or something in the Philippines. It was just all over the radar,’ the former White House attorney said. 

Those same claims are currently at the heart of separate $1.3 billion lawsuits from Dominion against Giuliani and Powell, among others. 

Former Philadelphia official received death threats after being targeted by Trump

The committee honed in on Giuliani’s role in pushing Trump’s election fraud claims in the second half of its hearing, featuring testimony from former officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Both states narrowly went to Biden in 2020 and were lightening rods for the ex-president’s attempts to overturn the vote count. 

One of those officials, Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt, testified on Monday that he and his family were subjected to ‘disturbing threats’ after the former president singled him out by name for his refusal to go along with his election fraud demands.

‘The threats prior to that tweet – and on some level it feels almost silly to talk about a tweet – but we can really see the impact that they have, because prior to that, the threats were pretty general in nature. ‘Corrupt election officials in Philadelphia are going to get what’s coming to them’; ‘You’re what the Second Amendment is for’; ‘You’re walking into the lion’s den.’ All sorts of things like that,’ Schmidt explained during his testimony in person to the panel on Monday.

‘After the president tweeted at me by name, calling me out the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic,’ he said, adding that they ‘included not just me by name, but included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home, just every bit of detail that you can imagine.’

‘That was what changed with that tweet.’

January 6 select committee member Zoe Lofgren placed on the screen redacted versions of threats that Schmidt had received after the former president’s tweet.

‘You lied. You a traitor (sic). Perhaps 75cuts and 20bullets will soon arrive,’ one text read, mentioning the name of one of his family members.

The same individual sent a second message with: ‘You betrayed your country.’

A separate email sent to Schmidt’s wife’s account threatening that the Philadelphia commissioner would be ‘fatally shot.’

‘Heads on spikes,’ the message said in all caps along with the hashtag ‘Q’ – a likely reference to the conspiracy QAnon.

Giuliani rages at ‘hysterical Liz Cheney during the hearing

The former New York City mayor appeared on an episode of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast as the January 6 committee’s second hearing was underway, where he claimed the Democrat-led panel had ‘no case’ but did not explain further why he believed so.

‘The millions of hours they’ve spent trying to find a crime on Donald Trump and they can’t do it. They started this frame about five years ago,’ Giuliani said on Steve Bannon’s podcast.

‘It’s the same cast – Bennie Thompson, and shifty Adam Schiff, you see Swalwell in the background. The completely hysterical Liz Cheney, who has gone off her deep end.’ 

Committee begins second hearing after lawmakers make clear they believe Trump committed criminal offenses 

‘This morning, we’ll tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election, and knew he lost an election, and as a result of his loss decided to wage an attack on our democracy,’ Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement.

Former ABC News president James Goldston was seen arriving on Capitol Hill Monday morning ahead of the second hearing.

Axios reported last week that lawmakers recruited Goldston – who also helmed Good Morning America and Nightline as executive producer – to shape their mountains of evidence into a ‘blockbuster’ presentation.

The most highly-anticipated testimony was expected to come from former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, but he was forced to withdraw less than an hour before the hearing was meant to start after his wife went into labor.

‘Mr. Stepien was in town and preparing for his testimony here today in response to a subpoena when he got a call that his wife had gone into labor. He notified committee council and he immediately headed to hospital to be with her,’ his lawyer told reporters outside of the hearing room.

US Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), (L) Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, and Vice Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) preside over a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13

House Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean speaks with DC Metro police officer Michael Fanone (left) and Capitol police officer Harry Dunn (right) ahead of the second January 6 hearing

Fired Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt, who was part of the team that called Arizona for President Joe Biden, prepares to testify

Stirewalt was meant to testify alongside former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who had to leave the hearing for a family emergency after his wife went into labor

The first hearing, held last Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, featured testimony from Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards and documentary filmmaker Nick Quested.

Edwards’ moving testimony captured the night, as she compared the Capitol to a ‘war zone’ and recalled ‘slipping in people’s blood’ as she defended the building from Trump’s mob of violent supporters – experiencing a traumatic brain injury in the process.

That session was led chiefly by chairman Thompson, a Democrat, and Republican vice chair Cheney. 

It also featured excerpts from videotaped depositions with former Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka, both making clear they believed at the time that there was no widespread fraud. 

Multiple members of the select committee suggested they gathered enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Trump over the weekend. Appearing across a slew of Sunday news programs, panel members made clear that they hope Attorney General Merrick Garland is paying close attention to their hearings.

‘I would like to see the Justice Department investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump or anyone else,’ committee member Rep. Adam Schiff said on ABC News’ This Week.

He later added: ‘They need to be investigated if there’s credible evidence, which I think there is.’ 

Rep. Jamie Raskin, meanwhile, said he doesn’t want to ‘browbeat’ Garland but noted the committee has already laid out criminal statutes they believe Trump violated through a series of court filings.

General view of the room before the second public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, at Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S. June 13

Former ABC News president James Goldston arrives on Capitol Hill ahead of the Monday morning hearing

‘I think that he knows, his staff knows, the US attorneys know, what’s at stake here,’ Raskin told CNN’s State of the Union. 

‘They know the importance of it, but I think they are rightfully paying close attention to precedent in history as well, as the facts of this case.’

Rep. Elaine Luria said the committee’s hearings would focus heavily on Trump’s ‘dereliction of duty,’ particularly during the 187 minute-gap between when the former president’s supporters first broke into the Capitol and when he called them off.

‘We’ve pieced together a very comprehensive tick tock timeline of what he did. And then 187 minutes, you know, this man had the microphone; he could speak to the whole country. His duty was to stand up and say something and try to stop this,’ Luria said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

‘So, we’ll talk about that and what I see to be his dereliction of duty, and he had a duty to act.’ 

During their first hearing the panel contextualized the January 6 attack into a wider alleged plot by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The riot was ‘no accident,’ the committee said, but rather ‘Trump’s last stand.’ 

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