Dec 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 committee chair says he has "no doubt" DOJ will charge Trump

Photo of Bennie Thompson speaking into a mic

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, speaks during the panel's last public hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 19, 2022. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Jan. 6 select committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said Monday that he has "no doubt" the Department of Justice (DOJ) will charge former President Trump once it evaluates the evidence compiled by the panel.

Why it matters: Thompson's comments to CNN follow the committee's unanimous vote to refer Trump to the DOJ on at least four criminal charges, including insurrection and obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress.

What he's saying: "The committee looked at it long and hard, and from my vantage point, we couldn't do anything except make the referral," Thompson told CNN after the panel's hearing on Monday.

  • "It was clear in the evaluation of the evidence uncovered by our committee that those actions taken by ... former President Trump, clearly created a problem for this country," he added.
  • "I'm convinced that now that our committee has released our information, they will take the information that we've shared with them and proceed with the investigation," Thompson added. 
  • "I have no doubt that once the investigation proceeds and is concluded, if the evidence is as we presented it, I'm convinced the Justice Department will charge former President Trump. No one — including a former president — is above the law."

The big picture: The referrals are non-binding and do not require the DOJ to take any additional action but could inform the DOJ's own investigation into Trump.

  • "Viewing it as a former prosecutor, I think there's sufficient evidence to charge the president," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
  • Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign last month.
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