January 6th Committee Will Send Criminal Referrals to Department of Justice
Elections & Politics Policy Brief #46 | By: Maureen Darby-Serson | December 9, 2022
Header photo taken from: NBC 9 News
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On December 8th, 2022, sources revealed that the January 6th Committee were considering referring 5 individuals, including former President Donald Trump, for criminal charges to the US Department of Justice. Mark Meadows, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, and Rudy Giuliani are the other four alleged targets of these referrals. What do these referrals means and what will come of them?
When a committee refers an individual to the US Justice Department for criminal referrals, they do not have to accept the committee’s referral and file charges. They will likely look at the evidence that the committee has and decide from there whether or not to bring charges against the individual.
In this situation, it is unclear if the Justice Department will follow through with charges. The Committee has not released their final report on the January 6th investigation, so it is not clear what kind of evidence they have against these individuals. These referrals may well be symbolic.
Either way, this is unprecedented. A committee has never referred a president to the Justice Department for criminal charges after an investigation. What this means for the 2024 Presidential election will remain to be seen.
Photo taken from: The Associated Press / The Washington Times / John Minchillo