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Trump among 5 targets as Jan. 6 panel weighs criminal referrals

Billy House, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — The House Jan. 6 committee is considering criminal referrals against former President Donald Trump, his chief of staff Mark Meadows and at least three other key allies involved in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Those referrals are being suggested by a subcommittee of the panel and have not officially been approved by the full committee. They also include unofficial former Trump legal adviser John Eastman, Trump’s former lawyer and ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

The person, who asked not to be identified discussing information not yet made public by the panel, didn’t specify what criminal counts might be referred against Trump and the other four. It wasn’t clear whether others might be targeted for referrals.

Representatives for each of the five men didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment. CNN earlier reported on the potential referrals.

Such referrals would be recommendations that aren’t legally binding on the Department of Justice or other agencies to follow through on.

Representative Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, said members plan to meet virtually over the weekend and he expects decisions to be made then.

 

Representative Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat on the committee and on the subcommittee considering referrals, refused to reveal targets being considered. But, he told reporters at the U.S. Capitol, “We want to make sure no one slips through the cracks.”

“We want to make sure that the key organizers and movers of this attack don’t escape the scrutiny of the justice system,” Raskin said. “I think anyone who engages in criminal actions needs to be held accountable for them and we’re going to spell that out.”

Thompson also declined to comment Thursday on whom the committee might recommend charges against. He also said that it’s considering action against fellow members of Congress, though not necessarily criminal referrals.

That could include referrals to the ethics committee, or state bar associations or civil suits.

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