As the House January 6 select committee wraps up its work before Republicans take control of the House and shut down the inquiry, a new subcommittee has formed to focus on criminal referrals it might make to the Justice Department, the Guardian reports. The subcommittee, which will also examine which materials to share with federal prosecutors and how to handle noncompliance with outstanding subpoenas, will be led by Rep. Jamie Raskin. Other members are Raskin's fellow Democrats Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren, plus Republican Rep. Liz Cheney. The panel's primary goal is whether the committee has found sufficient evidence that former President Donald Trump violated the law.
In March, the committee laid out its theory of a potential case against Trump, saying in a court filing that it had accumulated enough evidence to suggest that Trump and attorney John Eastman could be charged with criminal and civil violations. The select committee won a substantial victory when U.S. District Judge David Carter ruled that Trump "likely" committed multiple felonies in his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and stop of the certification of Joe Biden's election win. But some members on the panel have questioned the need for referrals to DOJ, which has ramped up its own the investigation, requiring Trump's allies to make appearances before at least two grand juries in Washington. The debate centered on whether making referrals might backfire if they are perceived to politically taint the investigations hearing evidence about the fake electors scheme or the far-right groups that stormed the Capitol. The subcommittee will make recommendations to the full panel's chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, around the beginning of December over what the referrals might look like and advise on how to proceed with potential legal action against Trump and Republican lawmakers who defied the panel's subpoenas. Thompson said the committee will release its report on the Capitol attack in December.