April 12, 2022
The House panel investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has enough evidence to refer former President Donald Trump for criminal charges, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said on April 10, reports NBC News.
“It’s absolutely clear that what President Trump was doing — what a number of people around him were doing — that they knew it was unlawful. They did it anyway,” Cheney, the vice chair of the House panel and one of two Republicans on the committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” when host Jake Tapper asked her whether the panel had enough evidence to make a criminal referral for Trump. Cheney said the panel has not made a decision about moving forward with the referral.
The New York Times reported that the committee has concluded that it has enough evidence to make a criminal referral but that its leaders were divided over whether to do so.
“I think what we have seen is a massive and well-organized and well-planned effort that used multiple tools to try to overturn an election,” Cheney said. The committee has “got a tremendous amount of testimony and documents that I think very, very clearly demonstrate the extent of the planning and the organization and the objective.”
She added: “The objective was absolutely to try to stop the kind of electoral votes, to try to interfere with that official proceeding. And it’s absolutely clear that they knew what they were doing was wrong.”
She referred to a ruling in a civil suit involving the committee last month, in which a federal judge found that based on evidence, Trump most likely “attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress” on the day of the attack, which would be a crime.
“The illegality of the plan was obvious,” U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote of Trump and lawyer John Eastman’s plan to have then-Vice President Mike Pence determine the results of the 2020 election. “Every American—and certainly the president of the United States—knows that in a democracy, leaders are elected, not installed. With a plan this ‘BOLD,’ President Trump knowingly tried to subvert this fundamental principle.”
Trump, who has not been charged with a crime, has denied any wrongdoing.
In recent months, the panel has ramped up its investigation ahead of public hearings expected next month.
Research contact: @NBCNews