A committee is a group of people subordinate to a deliberative assembly that is charged with investigating issues not directly within its purview. A committee is normally composed of elected members, but can also include non-elected members or members from a group that does not belong to the assembly. Once the committee completes its work, it generally provides a report to the assembly outlining the methods it used and the facts that it uncovered.
A sweeping new House committee report accuses President Trump of violating the Constitution by working to “aid and abet” an insurrection in the 2020 election. The panel’s executive summary says there is sufficient evidence to refer him to the Justice Department on at least four criminal charges, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, conspiracy to make false statements, and a conspiracy to incite or encourage sedition or seditious conspiracy.
The panel’s 845-page report, based on more than 1,000 interviews, emails and other documents that the committee successfully fought to get, includes several new revelations about the Trump campaign and its illegal attempts to interfere with the electoral process. The most important is that the committee believes Trump was aware that his election fraud allegations were unfounded and continued to amplify them, a clear violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech.
It also found that Trump and his aides attempted to disrupt the electoral count by directing people to create fake slates of electors in states he lost. The committee’s report cites a memo written by conservative attorney John Eastman outlining step-by-step steps that then-Vice President Mike Pence could take to overturn the election results. The memo also points to Kenneth Chesebro, an outside legal adviser to the Trump campaign, as a key figure in the fake elector plan.
In a rare move, the House select committee voted to formally refer Trump and other officials involved in the 2022 election to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. The panel’s executive summary, which was released Monday, says there is sufficient evidence to pursue charges of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, making false statements and a conspiracy to incite or encourage seditious conspiracy or sedition.
Florida Democrat Stephanie Murphy, one of two lame-duck members who was seated on the Jan. 6 panel, announced this month that she would not seek re-election in 2024. She said the decision was not easy, but was based on her desire to spend more time with her family. She has pushed for the committee to focus on the impact of the former president’s efforts on future election integrity and voter enfranchisement. The panel’s next steps are unclear. The committee is expected to issue its final report by the end of this year.