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Trump faces criminal charges

The House panel investigating the violent Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol urged the Justice Department on Monday to seek criminal charges against former President Donald Trump for his extensive efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.

Lawmakers recommended charges on four counts stemming from Trump’s monthslong effort to stay in power after his election defeat — obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and efforts to incite, assist, or aid or comfort an insurrection.

  The panel voted unanimously to send the criminal referrals to the Justice Department. The referrals, which mark the first time that the House has recommended criminal charges against a former president, do not guarantee that Trump will be indicted — but they do add to the evidence being weighed by the Justice Department and special counsel Jack Smith in its own investigation of Trump.

Members of the panel argued that Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election results, from pushing unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud to urging his supporters to send fake electors to Washington, form enough evidence for federal prosecutors to win a conviction against the former president.

“Even if it were true that President Trump genuinely believed the election was stolen, this is no defense. No president can ignore the courts and purposely violate the law no matter what supposed ‘justification’ he or she presents,” House investigators wrote in a section of their report released Monday.

The panel also recommended the House ethics committee investigate their colleagues for brushing aside Congressional subpoenas seeking testimony on their knowledge and efforts around the Jan. 6 attack — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. – AP

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