Nearly 18 months of investigations have come to a final conclusion. The House Committee wrapped up their investigations into the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and released their full report.
The final January 6 Report, totaling more than 800 pages in length, referred criminal charges to the Department of Justice with regard to former President Donald Trump for his role in the attack on our nation’s Capitol, and democracy. The report requests Congress to bar Trump, and others involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, from ever holding federal office again.
A brief summary of the full report was released on Monday after the committee concluded its final public hearing. More documents are still expected to be released in the coming weeks.
“As the Select Committee concludes its work, their words must be a clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution.”– House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi
Still not one to believe the proof in front of his face and in light of the criminal referrals against him, Trump continues to post on social media since the report was released to repeat his lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him, repeating the very same lie that could very well see him indicted by the Department of Justice. Additionally, the January 6th Committee laid out 11 recommendations aimed at strengthening our democratic system from future attacks against the voice of the people and democracy at large. These recommendations include clarifying that the role of the vice president in the transition of power is purely ceremonial and a new federal law enforcement emphasis on anti-government extremist groups.
What are the committee’s main recommendations?
- Citing the 14th Amendment, Trump should be barred from holding federal or state office ever again and the creation of a “formal mechanism” to evaluate whether those who took part in the insurrection should be barred from holding future government office on federal and other levels.
- Congress should make stronger criminal penalties for those who obstruct a peaceful transfer of power,
- Federal penalties for those who threaten election workers. The January 6 Report found that many of the people who refused to be pushed into manipulating election results, including governors, secretaries of state, state legislators, state and local election officials, and frontline election workers, found themselves subjected to spamming, doxing, harassment, intimidation, and violent threats. Some of those threats were sexualized or racist in nature and targeted family members.
- The creation of new legislation that would enforce House subpoenas in federal court.
- More oversight over the Capitol Police.
“Congressional committees of jurisdiction should continue regular and rigorous oversight of the United States Capitol Police as it improves its planning, training, equipping, and intelligence processes and practices its critical incident response protocols,”– January 6 Report
WHAT ELSE IS IN THE JANUARY 6 REPORT?
The report is broken into eight sections: election lies and declarations of victory, Trump’s efforts to “find” additional votes, Trump’s pressure campaigns targeting federal and state officials to overturn the 2020 election results and the events of Jan. 6 itself.
Here are some additional findings:
- Trump planned to declare victory regardless of the outcome.
- Trump’s plan to overturn the 2020 election was not spontaneous, but premeditated.
- Trump was aware of the risk of violence when he called on his supporters to march on the Capitol. President Trump had summoned a mob, including armed extremists and conspiracy theorists such as the Oathkeepers and the Proud Boys and they allbanded together for the insurrection to Washington, DC on the same day the joint session of Congress was to meet.
- Trump told that same mob to march on the US Capitol and ‘fight.’ “They clearly got the message,” the report reads.
- Trump was aware of violence at the Capitol for more than three hours before he agreed to intervene. The report calls this period of time “187 minutes of dereliction,” in which they say Trump drank Diet Coke, put off advice from advisers, including his daughter Ivanka, and watched Fox News during the insurrection. The committee laid out a timeline of what happened leading up to and during those three hours, which entailed increasing tension between Trump and Vice President Pence and Trump himself attempting to go to the Capitol to join his supporters.
- Top aides to the president were aware that election fraud investigations would not change the election outcome.
- Trump and his allies not only lied about election fraud, but ripped-off their supporters by asking for money for lawsuits to fight the election results.
SO WHAT NOW?
The future of what happens next is cloudy at best. While lawmakers made recommendations to the Department of Justice, the DOJ could exercise its prosecutorial discretion and simply do nothing
The January 6 Committee, by virture of the January 6 Report, also referred four Republican House members to the House Ethics Comittee for failure to comply with subpoenas. These Republican House members include:
- Kevin McCarthy of California
- Jim Jordan of Ohio
- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and
- Andy Biggs of Arizona
Republicans are set to take control of the House of Representatives in early January, which means it’s possible that the aforementioned House members don’t face any penalty for their noncompliance.
There has been a positive change to protect our democracy currently as a result of this January 6 Report: an update to the Electoral Count Act, which Congress passed this week in connection to a major spending bill. The updated legislation further clarifies that the vice president’s role in certifying the election is entirely ceremonial, and he or she cannot overturn an election just because a bunch of maga cultists demand it.