The Jan. 6 committee voted on Monday to refer former President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice on four criminal charges. It also announced that it will refer four Republican members of the House to the Congressional Ethics Committee for failing to comply with committee subpoenas, including prospective Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The three other House members referred to the Ethics Committee are Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Scott Perry (R-Pa.). In the introduction to its final report, the committee states that “their willful noncompliance violates multiple standards of conduct and subjects them to discipline.”
The committee was frustrated in its attempts to gather key information from the four Republicans, some of whom it characterizes as key witnesses to Trump’s state of mind, while others are described, in essence, as co-conspirators. The committee calls out Jordan, in particular, a “significant player in President Trump’s efforts.”
The committee has referred the former president on four criminal charges related to his actions and involvement with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The charges include obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the United States government, knowingly and willingly making a false statement to the federal government, and inciting, assisting, or engaging in insurrection. Similar charges will also be recommended for a cadre of Trump cronies, including Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, and John Eastman.
The introductory material of the committee’s report notes that McCarthy and his colleagues are being referred to the Ethics Committee after a “willful failure” to comply with requests from the committee. “If left unpunished, such behavior undermines Congress’s longstanding power to investigate in support of its lawmaking authority and suggests that Members of Congress may disregard legal obligations that apply to ordinary citizens,” the report reads.
The committee sought to speak to McCarthy as key witness, who’d urged Trump to call off the rioters, only to be told by Trump: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Perhaps most important, McCarthy may have information about Trump’s mindset regarding the attack. The committee states: “McCarthy privately confided in colleagues that President Trump accepted some responsibility for the attack on the Capitol.”
Jordan, the committee notes, was a key participant in events leading up to the attack, including leading a conference call “in which he, President Trump, and other Members of Congress discussed strategies for delaying the January 6th joint session.” According to the committee, call participants “discussed issuing social media posts encouraging President Trump’s supporters to ‘march to the Capitol’ on the 6th.” In addition, in a text exchange with Mark Meadows, Jordan encouraged Vice President Mike Pence to “call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.” Jordan also communicated directly with Trump at least twice on Jan. 6 itself, though the committee underscores: “he has provided inconsistent public statements about how many times they spoke and what they discussed.”
The committee sought to speak to Perry for his efforts to get Trump to “install Jeffrey Clark as the Acting Attorney General” — including by lobbying Mark Meadows and personally introducing Clark to Trump. Clark was a Trump yes-man who was willing to fight for the president’s election conspiracy theories, and his ascension to lead the Justice Department was blocked by threats of mass-resignation within DOJ. Both Jordan and Perry, the committee highlights, reached out to the Trump White House in the aftermath of Jan. 6 to discuss a presidential pardon.
The committee wanted to speak to Biggs as a participant in the scheme to appoint fake Electoral College slates from states where Trump baselessly decried fraud. Most strikingly, the committee states, “Representative Biggs coordinated with Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem to gather signatures from Arizona lawmakers endorsing fake Trump electors.”
Several members of Congress have been implicated in the planning of the Jan. 6 attack. As Rolling Stone previously reported, organizers admitted to attending planning meetings with several Republican lawmakers in the weeks leading up to the attempted insurrection.
Text messages from former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that were handed over to the committee revealed the extent to which Meadows was in contact with lawmakers regarding the protest and the larger attempt to undermine the election, which included a White House meeting to discuss allegations of voter fraud and strategies for convincing voters that fraud had occurred. Jordan, Biggs, and Perry all participated in the meeting.
Harry Styles Wins Album of the Year in Jaw-Dropping Grammy Upset
Hip-Hop Turns 50. The Grammys Celebrate the Milestone Despite Its Complicated History With the Genre
Harry Styles Drops Lethargic ‘As It Was’ Grammys 2023 Performance
Bonnie Raitt Unexpectedly Wins Song of the Year for ‘Just Like That’ at Grammys 2023
A spokesperson for congressman Jordan told reporters that the referral was “another partisan and political stunt made by a Select Committee that knowingly altered evidence, blocked minority representation on a Committee for the first time in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, and failed to respond to Mr. Jordan’s numerous letters and concerns surrounding the politicization and legitimacy of the Committee’s work.”
“No comment,” Tom Rust, the nonpartisan chief counsel and staff director of the Ethics Committee, said in an email to Rolling Stone.