The committee investigating the January 6 storming of the US Capitol recommends criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.
They include the conspiracy to defraud the United States; Obstruction of official process (the certification of Joe Bidenthe electoral victory of ); conspiracy to make a false statement and inciting or assisting an insurrection.
The recommendation is mostly symbolic – with the US Department of Justice in charge of deciding whether or not to prosecute Mr Trump.
But committee chairman Bernie Thompson said: “We are confident that the work of this committee will help provide the roadmap to justice.”
A number of recommendations are made in the final report, which accuses Mr Trump of engaging in a “multi-part conspiracy” to void the election.
Mr Thompson said “accountability” is the most important goal.
“We will also show that the evidence we have gathered points to other actions beyond the power of this committee or Congress to help secure accountability in law,” he said.
“An accountability that can only be found in the criminal justice system.”
Mr Thompson also criticized Mr Trump for “breaking” faith in the democratic system, telling the committee: “If we are going to survive as a nation of law and democracy, it can never happen again.”
Describing Mr Trump’s behavior on the day of the riots, Vice President Liz Cheney said: “Besides being illegal…it was a total moral failure and a gross dereliction of duty.
“Evidence of this can be seen in the testimony of President Trump’s own White House attorney and several other White House witnesses.
“No man who behaves in this way, at this precise moment, can ever again hold a position of authority in our country.
“He is unfit for any function.”
Ms Cheney said the committee’s work was just beginning, describing it as a “first step” in responding to “Mr. Trump’s efforts to stay in power illegally”.
Prosecutors are now considering the implications of the conduct described in the committee’s report, Ms Cheney added.
Trump’s daughter ‘is not available’
Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a White House adviser during her father’s tenure, apparently knew more than she was willing to divulge, the committee believes.
The report’s executive summary says Mrs Trump was ‘not as forthcoming’ as other aides, including then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone, about the former president’s conduct .
The committee accused her of showing a “complete lack of recollection of certain matters”.
Portions of former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s testimony “appeared evasive” and did not appear as direct as other press office staff, the committee said.
Former Trump adviser Hope Hicks was also accused of being unavailable when asked if she told the president he should encourage supporters to be peaceful.
“A big scam”
Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giulaniclaimed the voting machines overturned President Biden’s votes.
However, the commission’s report alleges that Mr Giuliani admitted during his deposition: “I don’t think the machines stole the election”.
Other Trump attorneys and supporters invoked their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when asked to show evidence that they discovered the election was stolen.
The committee’s panel said: “None of them provided evidence raising real questions about the election result.
“In short, it was a big scam”.
Trump ‘attempted to contact witnesses’
The committee said it was aware of Trump’s “multiple efforts” to contact unnamed witnesses during the investigation, with the Justice Department made aware of at least one incident.
Some witnesses have also been described as “unnecessarily combative” when testifying, with some not being credible when pleading ignorance of certain circumstances – particularly those whose jobs or incomes were tied to Trump-affiliated organizations. .
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Mr. Trump has already launched a campaign to seek the Republican nomination for a second race for the White House in 2024.
Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, he said: “America’s comeback begins now.”
He announced his candidacy for the leadership in November despite several investigations into the riot, which claimed the lives of five people, including a police officer.
Mr Trump reportedly watched the violence unfold on TV in the White House dining room instead of intervening as supporters stormed Congress.
More than 140 police officers were injured in the disorder, which caused the Capitol millions of dollars.