Members of Congress on the Jan. 6 committee are preparing their final report and considering whether to issue a criminal referral against Donald Trump for being “at the center of” a conspiracy to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 win. Appearing on Sunday news shows, Reps. Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren said the panel is considering their final moves before Republicans take control of the House and bring the committee to an end as they have threatened. And, according to Schiff, the “evidence is there” for a referral against Trump.
Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, Lofgren was asked whether Trump’s decision not to testify will affect the outcome of the committee’s investigation. “Does the refusal of the vice president and the former president to comply with your investigation in any way impede the impact or outcome?” host Margaret Brennan asked.
“Certainly, other presidents have come in when asked by the Congress, including Gerald Ford, Teddy Roosevelt, many others,” Lofgren said. “We don’t have time to litigate this. But I think they’ve cheated history, and they should have done otherwise.”
The committee is now composing its final report, which it will issue before the end of December. “We, on the other hand, have received substantial information from other sources,” Lofgren said. “And we’re in the process of, as I’m sure you know, writing our report now.”
“We anticipate when our report is released to release all of the evidence that we have assembled so that the public can see it, including the Department of Justice,” Lofgren said, adding, “The public will have everything that we’ve found — all the evidence… As we’ve shown in our hearings, [we’ve] made a compelling presentation that the former president was at the center of the effort to overturn a duly elected election — assembled the mob, sent it over to Congress to try and interfere with the peaceful transfer of power. It’s pretty shocking.”
Schiff on Sunday said that in addition to writing its report, the Jan. 6 committee is also debating whether to make a criminal referral against Trump for his non-compliance.
“I can say that I think Judge Carter in California, who analyzed just one small piece of this, concluded that the former president and others were engaged or there was evidence they were engaged in a criminal conspiracy, evidence they were engaged in an effort to stop an official proceeding, the Joint Session,” Schiff said on ABC’s This Week.
“I think the evidence is there to make a referral and we just have to decide whether that’s the course we are going to take,” he added. Schiff has previously said he believes that if the panel makes a criminal referral, it should be an unanimous decision.
Schiff accused Trump of taking “the cowardly way out” by refusing to testify before the committee. “Unlike other presidents that have fulfilled their duty even after office and testified before Congress, [it’s] not surprising with the former president [deciding not to testify]. It was disappointing with the former vice president who, like others before him, sadly, said I can’t share this information with the American people and Congress, but I could write a book about it,” Schiff added. “That’s very disappointing.”