Two of the committee’s most senior members said on Jan. 6 that they believe Donald Trump committed wrongdoing in connection with the riot, but that the committee will act unanimously when deciding whether or not to refer the former president for prosecution.
In separate interviews over the weekend, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democratic member of the committee, and Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican, discussed the investigation. The panel’s public hearings are set to resume on Wednesday.
Despite his belief that Trump should be referred, Schiff stated that he will make his decision in accordance with the rest of the committee so that the committee acts unanimously.
According to testimony from former Trump aides last Thursday, at least six Republican members of Congress requested preemptive pardons from former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Capitol insurgency.
So far, the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot has held six public hearings to reveal their findings, which have included public damning testimony from former Trump administration staffers.
Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, both Republicans, were among the six Republicans who asked Trump to pardon them for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, testified during a surprise hearing on Tuesday, June 28, that former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were among those who asked the former president for a preemptive pardon after the pro-Trump mob descended on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Hutchinson previously testified that former Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan discussed pardons with the White House but never requested one.
Jordan responded to his mention during the hearing on Sunday, accusing the January 6 House panel of “misrepresenting” a video clip of him saying “the ultimate date of significance in determining the winner is Jan. 6 in a presidential election.”
Cheney, who was removed from her Wyoming congressional seat due to her involvement in the investigation, stated that Trump was intimately involved in the plot to derail the 2020 election and that she believed the panel’s decision would be unanimous.
“One of the most surprising aspects of my work on this committee has been the sophistication of the plan that Donald Trump was involved in and oversaw every step of the way,” Cheney said. “It was a multifaceted plan that he oversaw and was personally and directly involved in.”
She stated that she expected the panel to reach a unanimous decision, regardless of its conclusions.
When the committee’s investigation, which began more than a year ago, is completed, it will decide whether or not to refer Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution. According to Reuters, it is expected to do so before the November midterm elections.
The Department of Justice is conducting its own investigation into the riot, which has recently touched on Trump’s inner circle of aides.
The committee held dramatic public hearings over the summer, where it heard how Trump pushed baseless claims that his 2020 election defeat had been stolen from him, despite knowing, or ought to have known, that his claims were false.
A former White House aide described how he attempted to lead an armed mob to the Capitol and then watched the violence unfold on television when he returned to the White House, defying allies’ pleas to quell the unrest.
Committee members have previously given conflicting signals about whether Trump will be prosecuted, with Rep. Bennie Thompson stating in June that the panel would not prosecute the former president. He encountered opposition from other committee members.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the riot, but he has also praised the rioters and stated that if re-elected president, he would be open to pardoning those convicted for their role in the riot.