Trump

Jan 6 panel backs four criminal referrals against Trump - here's what they mean

Jan 6 committee votes to recommend criminal charges against Donald Trump

Four criminal referrals have been made against former president Donald Trump by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

On Monday, the committee convened one last time to unveil their findings and the results of their year-and-a-half-long investigation.

After recapping the results of the last eight hearings, the committee recommended four criminal referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The referrals are essentially letters to the DOJ that include evidence the committee has gathered against Trump.

Although the referrals are not legally binding, it marks the first time Congress has taken such actions against a US president.

Here is what the four criminal referrals mean.

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Obstruction of an official proceeding

The first referral relates to the Congressional meeting that occurred on January 6, 2021, to certify election results.

The committee argued that Trump, and his lawyer John Eastman, intended for the Stop the Steal rally to interrupt Congress’ certification of the election.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States

Evidence, presented by the committee, indicated that Trump and his allies knew the election was not stolen but wanted to go forth in trying to overturn the results anyway.

One part of this included questioning voting methods like absentee ballots, electronic voting machines, and more.

Another part of this included establishing fake electoral college voters and requesting state legislatures help to overturn the election.

Conspiracy to make a false statement

This referral relates to “the big lie” that Trump and his allies created in an effort to overturn the 2020 election.

The committee laid out mountains of evidence indicating that the people around Trump knew the election was not stolen but continued to perpetuate the lie.

“Incite,” “assist” or “aid or comfort” an insurrection”

The fourth charge relates to the Stop the Steal really, which turned into an attack on the Capitol.

The committee is considering it an insurrection and putting the responsibility on Trump who refused to call off supporters when lawmakers' lives were in danger.

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