Committee News is the latest news from the House of Representatives, focusing on members of Congress and their committee assignments. A number of committees will see significant changes as Republicans regain control of the chamber in November. In addition, several House members have announced that they will retire from Congress after this year.
Committees are often tasked with investigating issues and deciding whether to refer them to the Department of Justice for prosecution. The House Intelligence Committee has referred President Trump to the Justice Department on several criminal charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy. The panel says it also has evidence to pursue Eastman on other alleged crimes, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
A summary of the report was released Monday afternoon and included details on the crimes the committee recommended the Justice Department investigate. It also outlines 11 recommendations the committee made to protect American democracy from future attacks and ensure the integrity of the electoral process.
The recommendations include making it harder for courts to overturn a certified election and ensuring the federal government is better prepared to deal with domestic extremists. It also calls for a new law enforcement focus on anti-government extremists.
As the committee closes its investigation, several lawmakers are at a personal crossroads, facing difficult reelection campaigns and considering leadership posts in the next Congress. One member, Dan Crenshaw of California, is even pondering a possible run for president in 2024.
Two other members, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Ted Yoho of Florida, announced they were retiring from Congress after this year. Both were seen as bipartisan dealmakers during their time in the House.
Another key issue for the committee is examining how top aides to President Donald Trump lied about election fraud and used that information as a cover to siphon money from their supporters. The report says Trump and his allies were aware that elections fraud investigations would not change the outcome of the election, but instead used them to try to rip off their opponents and voters.
In fact, according to the committee’s report, a top White House official falsely claimed during a press conference that widely used voting machines used in the presidential race were rigged. The report also cites a legal memo authored by Trump’s former lawyer, John Eastman, which outlined how Vice President Mike Pence could theoretically overturn the 2020 results.
While many of these allegations appear to be true, there are questions about the credibility of the committee’s findings. The report notes that witnesses and officials contacted by the panel had difficulties providing their testimony in full, and some evidence provided to the panel is not expected to ever be released to the public.
Those issues are among the main reasons why the House Intelligence Committee is recommending that Congress create a “formal mechanism” to evaluate whether to bar Trump from holding future federal office. The committee said it has collected evidence that Trump violated his oath of office to support the Constitution while engaging in an insurrection.